St. Petersburg, FL – One 7-Eleven clerk successfully defused a late-night robbery situation by pulling a gun and scaring the would-be thief off. Amazingly, even though nobody was seriously hurt, no property was damaged, and nothing was stolen, he was fired a week later.
Robert VanConett was a third-shift overnight worker at the 7-Eleven on 34th Street North. A series of armed robberies over his six years with the company began to concern him, and he started worrying seriously about his own safety.
“It’s a little scary at times working overnight,” he admitted.
At some point, VanConett started carrying a gun, which he was legally permitted to do. On October 12, he almost had to use it.
Security footage shows a man approaching the counter, attacking one of VanConett’s co-workers with a cup of hot coffee, pulling out a knife, and reaching for the money. VanConett pulled his gun on the robber.
“I just wanted to get him out of the store and it worked,” he said.
The robber ran out, nothing was stolen or damaged, and his co-worker was not seriously hurt in the attack. Seven days later, 7-Eleven dismissed VanConett because having his gun in the store is a violation of company policy.
“I was pissed off,” VanConett said.
But he added that he has no regrets.
“I’d do it again. It was just the simple fact I’m not going to sit there and get stabbed or get cut or anything like that. The guy looked like he was on drugs or something.”
Police ruled that VanConett was well within his rights to carry the gun, but admitted that there was little they could do in the face of company policy. Still, VanConett hopes that 7-Eleven reconsiders the policy, and cited cases like the recent murder of a store clerk who was stabbed more than 50 times.
“You don’t want to pull it out or shoot anybody, but you don’t want to be sitting in there if they start shooting and have nothing.”
Check out CCTV footage of the almost-robbery below, and let us know if you think VanConett should have lost his job.