It’a an old story. An employee — usually one who works in retail — who’s prohibited by his employer from carrying a firearm while on the job, is forced to defend himself. However, valuing their lives more than their jobs, many such employees arm themselves anyway, in full knowledge that they’re likely to be fired should they ever have to use their gun for personal defense. Case in point: Springfield, Missouri Pizza Hut delivery man William Hotop.
The Pizza Hut had just closed.
Outside the windows of the store on South Grant Avenue, William Hotop could see only darkness.
A man was knocking down the glass door, so Hotop, 31, said he bolted for where he knew a gun was located in the Pizza Hut.
What ensued was what Hotop described as a “a good old-fashioned gunfight.”
The man pointed a gun at him, Hotop said, and they both pulled triggers.
“It was like, ‘Oh, s—,'” he told the News-Leader Tuesday. “I know you can’t put that in the news, but that’s the best way I can describe it.”
Hotop said he took cover as the man fired more shots, then Hotop chased the man out of the Pizza Hut firing two shots.
Fortunately, no one was injured during the exchange of lead. Note that in the report, the firearm Hotop went for wasn’t described as his gun. That’s because he has a prior felony conviction and can’t legally own or carry one…a restriction that apparently didn’t apply to the store’s un-named manager.
Since then, Hotop said, Pizza Hut has suspended him without pay and fired the manager working that night. …
Hotop said he’s not happy with the decision to suspend him.
“I can’t believe that after I protected the store, I’m basically losing my job,” Hotop said, adding that the manager should not have been fired.
Hotop’s also worried about what the local prosecutor may do given his record.
Hotop said he’s also afraid he might be targeted because of a prior felony conviction.
About a decade has passed since his last conviction, Hotop said, and he came to Springfield to get a new start in life.
Hotop said the gun he fired that night was not his, though he hopes to one day again have the right to carry a firearm.
Given that he’s paid his debt to society, and kept his nose clean for a decade, why not?