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Customer Shoots Suspect in Liquor Store Robbery

Channel 5 Nashville | Tue, Apr 29, 2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- There was a deadly gunfight at a liquor store in Inglewood Saturday night. An armed robbery suspect was gunned down, after trying to rob the place. But it wasn't a police officer who took action.

None of the clerks in Sinkers Wine and Spirits had a gun to protect themselves, but they said they're thankful one of their customers did.

Sinkers Wine and Spirits lost some of their merchandise on Saturday night, but Clifford Baxter is hardly upset. He's just happy to have survived the gunfight that took place in his store over the weekend when two armed men tried to rob Sinkers late Saturday.

"I was in the back room, and came out and a man walked in with a pistol in his hand, and I went back to call 911," said Baxter.

Meanwhile, police said the suspects pointed a gun at store clerks and forced two customers to the ground. The would-be robbers probably didn't suspect that one of the customers would be carrying a gun nor that he would end up using it.

Baxter believes the customer and the suspects exchanged about ten gunshots. The would-be robbers tried to flee, but one of the men collapsed at the scene and died shortly after. Police said the citizen had a valid carry permit, and a right to protect himself.

"A citizen just like a police officer has the right to defend themselves or others, if they're in fear of death or serious bodily injury and that right extends to using deadly force," said Capt. David Imhof with Metro Police.

Even though the store was closed Sunday, Clifford Baxter had to come to work to clean up, and while the workers at Sinkers are armed only with broken glass and a mop they're thankful one of their customer protected them with something more.

Metro police are still out looking for the other robbery suspect. They are also interviewing witnesses in the case to make sure the citizen's actions were justified. As for the workers at Sinkers who were unarmed at the time they said they have plans to protect themselves in the future.

(source article)

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