Pizza delivery can be hazardous to your health. It may not be up there with crab fishing on the Bering Sea, but drivers can be easy targets. And most pie parlors discourage their delivery dudes from packing heat. Fortunately, not all of them listen. Take, for instance, Domino’s driver Byron Park who was counting his cash after a delivery ’round midnight Friday in West Melbourne, Florida when Frederick Kelly, Jr. sauntered up with a knife hoping to come away a little richer. Instead, he went away a little deader. “Park pulled out his firearm and fired once toward Kelly, who was struck and pronounced dead at the scene. ‘Preliminary evidence in the case demonstrates that the intended victim of the robbery acted in self-defense while being robbed by a violent criminal who was armed with a knife,’ said Sheriff Wayne Ivey. ‘The suspect in this investigation was released from prison in 2009, after serving a reduced sentence for similar violent crimes.’” And he won’t have to serve any sentence at all for this one.  [h/t Anthony and Chris]

31 Responses to Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Domino’s Defense Edition

  1. ‘The suspect in this investigation was released from prison in 2009, after serving a reduced sentence for similar violent crimes.’

    Why do we see something like this again, and again, and…

    • The prisons are overcrowded with all those people serving for misdemeanors. Gotta move out all the violent offenders to make room.

        • You beat me to it.Wonder where Al and Jesse are now,telling everyone that this guy had a bad childhood,or some other crap,wait there is no money to be made here,as this guy was a robber.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

      • I’ve been begging people for an explanation of exactly this since I can remember, they usually resort to “that doesn’t happen” or that it doesn’t happen often enough to warrant change. We have people in three strikes states serving LIFE for simple possession… while people who literally hack others up with knives and shaite are being bumped out for “good behavior” and “overcrowding”. Demure grandmas are doing life without parole while dudes with spiderweb tattoos over their whole faces are just walking out. Someone please explain to me how that is right.

    • They need room for all those non-violent drug offenders with mandatory minimum sentences. So the murderers, rapists, armed robbers, and other wonderful human beings get out early.

  2. Generally speaking, Domino’s has a strict “no guns” policy for its drivers. I’ve been looking for any updates on his employment status, but have been unable to find anything thus far.

    • Yeah. He’s almost certain to be fired. Of course, that’s better than being stabbed. Hopefully someone who reads the inevitable “Driver fired for violating corporate policy on guns . . . .” article will hire the guy.

    • a friend who works for dominoes once told me they(or at least the one he worked for) have a strict hand over the cash policy, combined with a “it comes out of your paycheck” policy, and if you got robbed to often or came up short it was unofficially assumed you were stealing from the company and they provided you extra free time to find other employment opportunities by not scheduling you for shifts. this is second hand information, so take it for what its worth. that said, it seems to me dominoes would rather accept the possibility of a liability in a robbery (drivers death) than the possibility Cof liability in a driver related defense. if their official policy says no guns, and the driver had/used one they can point to the official policy and say they told him not to do it

      • My brother had to make a pizza delivery into a neighborhood that police would not go into except in squads of 4. The manager told him to do it, or he’d be fired. As expected, it was a set up, and they beat my brother to a pulp to take his money, the pizza, and his car. He’s still not right a decade and half later.

        When my father called the manager of the store, the FIRST thing that douchebag asked for was the money or he’d report my brother as stealing it. Unfortunately for the manager, my father told him fine, he was telling the investigator at the house that it sounded like the manager was an accomplice in the crime by forcing my brother to go. It went downhill for Papa Johns from there. I still won’t order their pizza.

    • According to the Florida Today article, “Domino’s corporate policy prohibits employees from carrying guns. But that policy didn’t apply in this case since Park worked for an independently operated Domino’s”.

      It is also interesting to note that, “The pizza delivery man who shot a man whom he said threatened him with a knife this past weekend is a former West Melbourne police officer”. And almost comical to add, “The city fired him in March 1998 after Police Chief Brian Lock said he lied during an inquiry about another officer’s call to the Astrological Society psychic hot line during work hours, according to court records. Park sued the city and after 10 years of legal wrangling, the 5th District Court of Appeal determined in 2009 that he should have been reinstated with back pay in September 1998. As part of a settlement, the city agreed to pay Park $262,500.”.

      You just can’t make this stuff up. Florida, the “Gunshine State”, what a fun place to live.

      • Well then, at least his job may be safe. The rest is just Florida. It’s about on par with what you’d read in a Carl Hiaasen novel.

        • +1, I think the wilting heat bakes our collective consciousness. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else though. I like how crazy Florida can be,

    • I worked for a different corporate pizza chain that also had a strict ‘no guns’ policy for us delivery drivers. Some weekend nights I could be carrying $200+ in cash. I always felt my life was more important than my job. Many of my co-workers did as well. I doubt I need to fill in the blanks for the people here.

  3. “Investigators say a Brevard County pizza delivery man took action into his own hands — shooting and killing a would-be robber.”

    “Took action into his own hands.” Is this even English? Are there no editors any more?

    “…shooting and killing a would-be robber.”

    How about, “defended himself against an armed attack?”

    I guess I’m preaching to the choir here…

    • You’re not supposed to do things for yourself in this country. You are supposed to take someone else’s money, then make them do it for you, if the federal model is followed exactly.

    • I am really, really, really starting to hate the phrase “took action into his own hands.”

      The place where I see that phrase as appropriate is when someone who is unsatisfied with the criminal justice system (perhaps an unfavorable court verdict) then goes out and seeks to punish someone who has wronged him (basically, vigilante justice). But it makes NO SENSE to use it when someone is acting in their own defense.

      An appropriate re-write in this case would be:

      “Investigators say a Brevard County pizza delivery man saved his own life when threatened by a would-be robber, shooting and killing him.”

    • ‘Took action into his own hands . . .’ As opposed to doing something with your hands that is not ‘action’, or taking action with someone else’s hands. Nope, there are no journalists, copy editors or reporters anymore, only pretenders with a limited ability to get through the day using words of the English language. No art of the phrase, no carefully crafting an article, no pride in one’s ‘work’, if you can call it work.

      In any event, justice was served . . . piping hot.

  4. Sarc machine engaged:

    This is a perfect example of why DGUs are a bad thing. Look at all of the government employees that were robbed of doing their jobs. The on-the-scene investigation is pretty much a wash, about the same regardless of which guy ended up dead. But then you have the longer term investigation and apprehension of the perp, including paying off snitches for tips. You’ve got the jailers, attorneys, judges and clerks associated with the trial that won’t be working on this case. Think of all the engineers and building contractors that won’t be designing and building prisons if the crime rate continues to drop. Think of all the tax collectors that won’t be needed if fewer taxes are spent on the criminal justice system. And you thought unemployment was bad before! Sheesh.

    Sarc machine disengaged.

  5. Domino’s better think carefully before they become the next Autozone. Look at AZO stock on Dec 3rd 2012 (the day the news broke of them firing Devin McLean for using a gun to defend against a robber). We definitely hit them where it hurts, but it seems we have short memories. I don’t though, and I’ll never be back to an autozone. Gun ownership is growing and our influence is growing. Stick together people!

  6. Would not order a domino’s pizza on a bet.

    The reason corp says don’t carry is because they are a big target for the skel’s survivors to sue. The driver’s survivors cannot sue domino’s for wrongful death as corp did not provide the skel with a gun or employ the skel.

    If you want the facts twisted engage a lawyer.

    • The best tip I can give him is to double tap, but I think he’s got everything covered already.

      Good on you, Mr. Park. You can find another job, but you only get one life.

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