Police in West Virginia have released footage showing the moment a pharmacist working at a store shot and killed an armed robber who pulled a gun on employees and demanded money.
Defending himself, fellow employees, and about eight customers at the Good Family Pharmacy at 242 North Pinch Road, W.Va., Don Radcliff killed the armed robber, identified as Terry Gillenwater, 25, who attempted to rob the store on Wednesday, according to WCHS-TV.
Gillenwater reportedly walked into the pharmacy while an employee handled cash at the register.
Surveillance camera shows the masked robber walking into the Good Family Pharmacy at about 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, standing in line while another customer paid for goods purchased. He then stepped forward to the counter, pulled out a gun, pointed it at employees, and demanded money.
Radcliff, who was armed with a conceal and carry permit weapon, had just joked that Gillenwater might have come to rob the store.
According to Wvgazette, Good Family Pharmacy employee Chris Monk said that when the masked man entered the store, Radcliff pointed at him and “joked,” saying, “Are you here to rob me?”
The suspect responded by pulling out a handgun.
Surveillance video from Good Family Pharmacy released by Kanahwa County Sheriff’s Department shows Radcliff pulling out a gun from under his white pharmacy coat after Gillenwater had pulled out his gun.
As Gillenwater raised his gun to demand money, Radcliff, who was standing only a few feet away, fired quick and accurate shots at the robber. The first shot hit the robber in the chest.
When the robber attempted to shoot, Radcliff shot him once more. This time, the bullet hit the suspect’s gun. When he turned on his heels and attempted to escape, Radcliff fired a third shot which hit the suspect in the abdomen and brought him down.
The courage, speed, and accuracy of the pharmacist, faced with an armed man, was remarkable.
Assisted by an intern, he administered first aid, but Gillenwater died on the way to the hospital, according to WOWK-TV.
An employee said that as Radcliff tried to stop the bleeding from Gillenwater’s chest, he said, “Why did you make me do this? I didn’t mean to do this.”
The pharmacy continued to serve customers after the incident while employees cleared up glass from the broken window.
According to an employee, “There was no blood, just glass.”
The owner of the pharmacy, Patrick Good, arrived soon after and allowed Radcliff to go home for the day. Good said Radcliff was upset to learn that the robber had died. But he was thankful that he was able to protect himself and co-workers.
“I’m glad that God put me in a situation that I was able to do what I did. I have no other words other than to thank God. I did what I thought I had to do.”
Good said that was the first time the pharmacy has been robbed and that he had always encouraged employees to be prepared.
“You can’t just be passive when people come in trying to rob you. I mean, you work all of your life for stuff like this, and you can’t just let someone take it away from you. You’re always prepared. We carry all the time. You always have that in the back of your mind. You just hope and pray that you never have to act on it.”
Radcliff returned to work on Thursday. He told WCHS-TV that he took no joy in shooting a man and that he did not consider his action heroic. He said he received spiritual support from a Bible passage he read as part of his daily devotion. He read from the daily devotion in the interview with WCHS-TV.
“Thursday, February 19th, John 10, 7 to 18: ‘A thief comes only to steal and to kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.’ That’s verse 10. Abundance isn’t God’s provision for me to live in luxury; it’s his provision for me to help others live.
“So many times when I read this daily devotional it’s exactly what I need to hear. And today it was what I needed to hear.”
Radcliff’s wife, Dixie, said the experience was traumatic and that the family was struggling to recover from it.
[Images: YouTube/Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department; Facebook]