Concealed carry permit holder thwarts armed robbery at restaurant

An armed robbery at a waffle house in North Charleston was thwarted when a customer who was legally carrying a gun shot and killed the perpetrator.  "He saved us, that’s what he did," said one employee.

Charleston Post and Courier:

Said an officer at the scene: “It says something about firearms ... for good people with firearms being in the right hands.” The policeman said he was not authorized to speak for the North Charleston Police Department.

Shortly after 5 a.m., police responded to reports of an armed robbery and shots being fired at the Waffle House at 6907 Dorchester Road. When officers arrived, they found the suspect had been shot.

The Charleston County Coroner’s Office and the police department turned to the public for help identifying the suspect. The Coroner’s Office later identified the suspect as 19-year-old Joshua Jermaine Davis. It is unknown where Davis resided, but the family believes he lived with a friend in downtown Charleston, according to Johnson.

Johnson said police are not pressing any charges against the customer at this time.

Waffle House employees spent the morning sweeping shards of broken glass in the doorway, preparing for a noontime reopening.

Brandon Rogers, division manager for the restaurant chain, said nothing was stolen in the incident, the first he could recall there since it opened a year ago.

“No one was hurt, which is the best part,” Rogers said. “No one was injured — besides the suspect.”

The number of armed interventions by private citizens in stopping crimes from being committed has been on the rise in recent years as more and more states allow people to legally arm themselves in public.  But the reality is that taking on an armed criminal is a dangerous proposition even if the civilian is responsible and proficient in firearms.  The police don't usually recommend it, although the Detroit police chief said last year that armed citizens could help the city's depleted law enforcement department.

The citizen who took down this robber was both heroic and lucky.  But if the criminal's death deters others from committing crimes where any civilian could be an armed adversary, it's well worth the risk.