The armed robbery of an Akron, Ohio Taco Bell didn’t go down as planned for the suspect, who ended up in the hospital after he was shot by his intended victim.
Police say a second suspect was taken into custody after dropping the injured man at a local hospital, while the armed citizen who acted in self-defense isn’t facing any charges at the moment.
It was around 7:35 p.m. Monday when Akron police responded to the scene where they were told a male suspect had robbed the restaurant at gunpoint.
“During the robbery, the suspect shot at a 21-year-old employee, who returned fire and struck the robber,” according to the Akron Police Department. “The suspect fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money.”
The 35-year-old suspect arrived at an Akron hospital moments later with a gunshot wound to the upper body. Police say he’s listed in serious, but stable condition and his injuries are not considered life-threatening.
Detectives say they’re looking into the possibility that the two suspects may be connected to other recent robberies in the area, but so far haven’t made any official connection. Akron was one of the majority of U.S. cities that saw a decrease in both homicides specifically and overall crime in 2023, with a 35 percent reduction in its murder rate and a 12 percent reduction in reported crimes, but there were still more than 200 robberies reported in the city between January 1 and November 30, so employees of businesses that are particularly vulnerable to armed robberies have good reason to want to be armed when they’re at work.
WKYC-TV in Cleveland reports that it’s reached out to Taco Bell for a comment but to date have not heard anything from the corporation. It would probably be up to the local franchise owner to decide what happens to the store employee, honestly. There’s certainly nothing in Ohio law that would prohibit a legal gun owner from bringing their firearm to work at a fast food restaurant, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be terminated for doing so, even though it would be a huge mistake to fire this employee given the circumstances here.
According to police, the armed robber was the first to pull the trigger, and if the 21-year-old armed citizen hadn’t been able to draw his own gun in self-defense who knows how many employees or customers could have been harmed in the robbery attempt. No matter how skittish or squeamish the franchise owner may be about armed employees, I’d say it’s a good thing that there was someone able to fire back when the suspect began shooting, and frankly, I’d be more inclined to visit an establishment that cared enough about their workers to allow them to protect themselves and others while they’re on the clock.
The most important thing, of course, is that the armed employee was able to make it home safely on Monday night, even if their future employment is in doubt. They’re living más thanks to their decision to have their gun with them on the clock, and while finding a paying gig in Joe Biden’s economy may not be easy, a lost job can be replaced… unlike a life lost to someone willing to take it for the contents of a cash drawer.