Armed Store Owner Held at Gunpoint Figures Out the Attacker’s Gun Isn’t Loaded, Holds His Fire

In an unusual defensive gun use out of Indianapolis, the owner of a furniture store was confronted by a man pointing a handgun at him and demanding money. The store owner, Doyle Stinson, gave him the $10 he had on hand. Although he was being held at gunpoint, Stinson was apparently confident that the holdup man’s gun wasn’t loaded:

“I knew when he pulled the hammer back on the automatic weapon there wasn’t a bullet in the chamber,” said Stinson. “I know the sound.”

“I know you’ve got more money than that because this is a business,” the suspect then said, according to Stinson, and began walking him around the store, which you can see in the video. Stinson played along. Discreetly, he activated his alarm system’s silent emergency button and retrieved his own (loaded) weapon.

Once he took aim at the suspect, the man panicked and fled the store, as can also be seen in the video. Stinson had held his fire partly out of concern for the safety of a bystander, a young boy who he glimpsed through the store window.

“If you’re shooting a 40 caliber, it’s going to go through him, through this merchandise, through that window, and what’s beyond that window,” said Stinson. “He’s got a lot more to live than me. That’s true, that’s a little boy there.”

That didn’t mean he was willing to let the suspect get away. A neighboring store owner pulled up just as Stinson ran out his door and let Stinson in the car, at which point the two chased the suspect for as long as they could.

The suspect has not been found, and he still has the $10. You can check out the news segment with the brief interview here:


  1. avatar Robb says:

    “I knew when he pulled the hammer back on the automatic weapon there wasn’t a bullet in the chamber,” said Stinson. “I know the sound.”


    1. avatar CalGunsMD says:

      How does one know if a round is chambered or not just by the sound of the hammer being pulled back ???

      1. avatar anonymoose says:

        My guess is that the store owner meant “the sound of the slide being racked,” because I’m sure ghetto bro slingshotted his gat to punctuate a threat. Listen well and you can determine the sound of a round being stripped off the mag, versus the sound of a gun being racked without picking anything up. Not only did this idiot robber not have any rounds in his gun, he must not have even had a magazine since the slide didn’t lock back.

        Or maybe it’s a gun with one of those big obvious loaded chamber indicators? 😛

        Anyway, I would suggest the store owner start keeping his business gun loaded with Glaser Safety Slugs or some other frangible defense ammo. Out of the low chance of being robbed, it’s far less likely that any po’-ass robbers (especially ones who can’t afford boolits) are going to come in with body armor or anything.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          I’d think that the slide locking open on the empty mag would be the bigger tip off.

        2. avatar Model 31 says:

          Well, maybe locking open and then released.

      2. avatar ANONNYMOUS says:

        Not sure why the retailer did not engage once he had a firm grip on the .40 while in the rear –away from the windows. The actor needs his pencil sharpened or he is extremely handicapped. What part of the word ‘mask’ escapes him? The video is fairly clear, I doubt the $10.00 thief will celebrate Xmas on this side of LE confinement.

        Hope he didn’t have a look-out on the payroll. If so, he probably won’t be able to afford ammo for his next $10.00 felony.

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Once again, luck prevails over stupid. Granted, the odds of an urban thug’s pistol being actually loaded for a robbery are probably well under 50%, but it’s not a chance I would take.

    3. avatar Bloving says:

      I’ve not read anything by this guy to get into his head on this one, but I wonder if he thought the gun didn’t “sound” real (ie: an airsoft). Stating that one knew in advance that there was no real threat might not make for a very good police report when one must explain the use of a very real gun, so I guess saying “It sounded unloaded” covers his butt sufficiently.

    4. avatar Marcus says:

      He must of known the weapon didn’t have a decocker and the only reason the hammer would be down is if it was a unloaded weapon or the criminal was stupid to bring the hammer down on a loaded weapon, stupider if it was single action. Many criminals tend to use fake or empty guns so he had probability on his side.

      1. avatar Sian says:

        I recall accounts from one big city police sergeant that something between 60 and 70% of guns they recovered off of criminals were non-functional either due to mechanical breakage, missing parts, no ammunition, or wrong ammunition. Some of them might fire once, most not even that.

  2. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    The sound?? Is this person an idiot and or just plain lucky. Ive had a gun pointed in my general direction once. I knew it wasn’t loaded because in direct light I could see there was no round in the chamber of the short barreled .380. That didn’t make me any braver or stupid. Just made me mad and yelling like a fool at the jackass in the outdoor range stall next to me.

  3. avatar kahlil says:

    “on the automatic weapon”?

  4. avatar Dave says:

    The much awaited Remo Wiliams sequel here?

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      Ya know IF you use a good expanding hollowpoint boo-lit you can shoot a punk pulling an armed robbery(he presented a “gun”)…jus sayin’. The Adventure Begins😄😎😏

  5. avatar tmm says:

    He still has the $10? You should sic this kid on him…

  6. avatar FedUp says:

    Sometimes ignorant reporters misquote people by inserting their own ignorant thoughts into the quoted speech.

    Let us hope that’s what’s happening here.

    Otherwise, yikes.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Ahhh, when you allow all the scripts, there’s an embedded video on this page.

      “I knew when he pulled the hammer back on an automatic weapon there wasn’t a bullet in the chamber.”

      As somebody else suggested, if the hammer’s down, the chamber is probably empty. Wish I’d thought of that myself, seems obvious now.

      1. avatar Scoutino says:

        Hammer down tells you nothing about whether there is round in the chamber. I always carried da/sa pistol with safety off, hammer down and loaded chamber.
        If the store owner really relied on “hammer down – unloaded gun” thinking, he is mistaken and extremely lucky.

  7. 1. Did the store owner had ESP….? Was he channeling Wild Bill Hickok?

    2. Why do store owners, homeowners, etc…In “Free-States” run out of THEIR property and give chase to the perp…?

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Because a license plate number, vehicle description, location and direction of travel are much more helpful for responding LEO than “young black dude with black shirt ran away.”

  8. avatar Ax says:

    I can smell when there’s a round in the chamber, but I can’t tell from the sound of the hammer being pulled back. Maybe when the hammer is dropped, but then most people can.

  9. avatar GS650G says:

    Once the robber is released early from prison he can try, try again.
    And we know he’ll get out at some point.

  10. avatar CDC says:

    I hope next time the store owner can’t hear the gurgle sound of dying armed robber due to temporary deafness caused by his own weapon. He probably won’t ever be this lucky again.

  11. avatar George from Alaska says:

    Just fucking stop this dissection of whatever was said. Who knows wtf really happened or as someone else said who knows how what he said was quoted by the media.
    It’s harder than you think to kill someone in questionable situations, whether you are right or wrong or even justified. I’ve had shots fired above me in my general direction and we chose not to kill the young drunk teen who was distraught over his girlfriend leaving him. After we had everyone back up, turned off all the red lights and stopped screaming through the megaphone the kid settled down and eventually came out with his hands up and surrendered to the female Sargent he knew from the High School Officer in the school program.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Shots fired, and you successfully de-escalated from there?
      Good job.

      Unfortunately, in some departments that’ll get you fired for dereliction of duty. (and I’m glad this guy got six digits for it, maybe it’ll help others do as he did)

  12. avatar Maps Bam says:

    He saved a life, but jeapardized his own. He gave the scum the chance to come back and retaliate.

  13. avatar RedRed says:

    Every gun does not lock open after the last round. My Ruger LCP 380 does not do so. I had a local gun range give me all sorts of crap for not locking it open when the last shot was fired. Needless to say, I now fire my weapons at a different range. That gun is a bit of a pain to lock it back often.

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