Jeremy Hoven is the now former Benton Harbor, MI Walgreens pharmacist who drove two gun-wielding robbers from his store during an early-morning robbery attempt in December of 2007. Hoven, a licensed CCW permit holder, was carrying a pistol in his pocket when the attempted holdup took place. He was subsequently fired by Walgreens, he said, for violating their “non-escalation” policy and later filed a wrongful termination suit against the company. Now he and his lawyers have released an artfully cut and edited store security video that appears to have been put together by the same folks who did 24…
The video does an excellent job of tracing most of the would-be robbers’ progress from the moment they enter the store, to manhandling the store manager at gunpoint to Hoven returning fire from one of the robbers while trying to dial 911.
One of the masked robbers pointed a gun at Hoven as he called 911. The robber’s gun jammed, and didn’t fire, attorneys said. Hoven pulled his handgun from his pants pocket and fired.
“At that moment, Hoven reasonably and justifiably believed that the was going to be shot and either killed or seriously injured by the armed robber. … Hoven then fired his handgun several times in self-defense and in defense of his co-workers,” attorneys Daniel Swanson and Jesse Young wrote in the lawsuit.
The robbers left a gun behind as they ran away.
In a Grand Rapids press conference, Swanson said: “Walgreens acknowledged (Hoven’s) attempt to protect himself and fellow employees by firing him.”
Walgreens has responded to the suit by denying that Hoven was fired for violation of the non-escalation policy.
[Walgreens] disputed Hoven’s contention that he had a “right to carry or discharge a concealed weapon on its premises at any time.”
The company said Hoven’s claims for compensation are not allowed under the law.
“Walgreens had a plausible and legitimate business reason to justify its decision to discharge (Hoven),” attorneys Charles Mishkind and Adam Forman said in the response.