I worked in a bank in a previous life. One of the first things they teach you regarding handling a robbery is that once the bad guy (BG) leaves the bank, secure all the doors (so he can’t re-enter the building) and STAY INSIDE until the cops arrive . . .
There’s no way to know if the clerk was carrying the .38 or retrieved it when it was obvious the BG was leaving. Exactly what happened isn’t clear based on the sequence and time stamps on the security tape. Most puzzling: how the clerk seems to follow the BG in the back room after it appears he’s making for the exit.
She SHOULD have locked that door when he bolted. But no, she decided to open the front door and take a pot-shot at the car with the BG inside. Then, when he peeled out, she ran after the car and fired two more shots at him.
Let’s leave aside the danger to innocent bystanders. When the BG made his exit, her life was no longer threatened. But she decided it’d be a good idea to take off firing at him like the clerk in Raising Arizona.
She should be thanking her lucky stars that she missed. And the bad guy didn’t, as the Anglicized RF says, “take the hump.” In other words, she should be happy he didn’t get pissed off that someone was firing a gun at him, stop the car, get out, run back and shoot her.
If she’d hit the BG (or killed him) there are plenty of prosecutors who’d be all too willing to bring charges against her. She may still find herself on the business end of an assault or reckless endangerment charge. And you can bet the BG (or his family) would have had no trouble finding an eager ambulance chaser willing to sue her if she’d poked holes in him.
I’m glad the clerk had a gun. This kind of business seems like a particularly juicy target for armed robbery. If I worked there, I’d have been armed, too. And thank GOD the BG’s gun jammed and she wasn’t killed, as he intended. But that doesn’t excuse what she did.
TTAG Armed Intelligentsia members routinely (and usually appropriately) display righteous indignation when they hear of store clerks being pink-slipped after defending themselves in an armed robbery. But if she worked for me, this clerk would lose her job.
A responsible gun owner knows when to keep his or her powder dry. Which is always—unless firing their gun is the only possible way to prevent death or serious injury to the gun owner and/or innocent bystanders.