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FOLLOW-UP: Fired Circle K Employee Who Shot Armed Robber Gets Donations, Job Offers

Jennifer Wertz worked at Circle K for five years in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Until last week, that is, when she shot an alleged armed robber who had pointed a gun at her. While most Americans would applaud her action, Circle K promptly suspended her. After she talked to the media, Circle K fired her. Since then, a Go Fund Me page has collected big bucks to help Jennifer and her family.

Company policy at Circle K, like many chains, says employees should never resist robbers. However, Wertz didn’t have ballistic glass between her and 23-year-old Ferron Mendez, who had barged into her store with a gun.

FOLLOW-UP: Fired Circle K Employee Who Shot Armed Robber Gets Donations, Job Offers

Knowing she had a disabled mother and her three children at home who all loved her and counted on her, she pulled her own gun and shot the (alleged) would-be robber in the chest.  She told reporters that she had only minutes before retrieved her gun from her car after hearing of another armed robbery nearby.  Her action might well have saved her life.

People from all walks of life, hearing of Circle K’s termination of a long-time employee for merely defending herself, have responded to a Go Fund Me page.  Ms. Wertz’s mother set it up and as of this writing, it stands at $71,500.

In our original story, I wrote:

Ms. Wertz says she’s looking for a new job now. Surely some business owner in or near Albuquerque would appreciate a clerk with her fortitude and gumption, someone who won’t roll over for two-bit hoodlums without a fight.

Sure enough. The next day, KOB4 reported how job offers have come in for Ms. Wertz:

Job opportunities, support come to clerk who shot suspected robber

…While police may not be pressing charges, she now faces the challenge of finding a new job.

However, there could be a change in fortune for Wertz. She is already receiving multiple job offers and overwhelming support from the community.

Wertz said she plans to take some time off to deal with the emotional trauma of what she’s been through, before deciding what to do next, but she said Calibers Gun Shop and Shooting Range has already contacted her.

“I would love to set up an interview and see if it’s a good fit for me and good fit for them,” she said.

I contacted Calibers Gun Shop and Shooting Range and left a voicemail message for the corporate COO for comment.  As of this writing it remains as yet returned.  Kudos for Calibers for reaching out to the Ms. Wertz.

Young Jennifer showed further courage telling the local TV station KOB4:

Wertz hopes her experience gives others the courage to protect themselves and take a stand against crime in Albuquerque.

“They don’t have to be nonchalant and a sitting duck and bow down to these criminals, because that’s the problem,” she said. “We’ve bowed down so many times they’re now running our city. We need to stand up and show them that we are willing to protect ourselves and protect our home and protect what matters.”

While anyone can talk a good game, it does take courage to stand up against a criminal attack.  I think we all share relief that this mom survived the encounter uninjured.  Furthermore, the fact she will land on her feet after the incident helps reaffirm our belief in the good people of the world.

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  1. Seems to me that she is going to land on her feet. It really bothers me that Corporate America cares so little for their employees and so much for the criminals that endanger them.

    • It’s not that “Corporate America cares so little for their employees and so much for the criminals that endanger them”, but rather that they care more about the ‘bottom line’ which would be effected by a civil settlement for a criminal’s family then any cost incurred in death benefits for an employee.

      • No, actually, corporate America cares not one whit for its employees. They are merely labor to be exploited. And that’s the truth, from a now-retired C-level corporate executive.

        • From a current C-level executive, I can tell you that it all depends on the company. I saw the president of our company (the largest division of a fairly large publicly traded corporation) personally show up in jeans and boots to help clean out an employee’s Harvey-flooded house. There was no media coverage, no social media posts, nothing but people helping others.

          That’s the thing to remember. There really is no such thing as a company. A company is just paper, a legal construct connecting people’s interests. It’s people.

          It’s fun to rail against companies and corporate America, but your basic quarrel is with other people; people who are no more or less moral than you, just in different circumstances from you. You’d likely behave the same way in their shoes, because you’d face the same set of incentives. While you think about that, think about this: your quarrel is also with yourself.

          You see, Circle K is owned by Canadian parent company Couche Tard, Inc., traded on the Toronto Stock exchange. Among its important investors are major mutual fund and money managers Fidelity, Vanguard, Oppenheimer, and others. Your 401K, IRA, or other investments monies could well be invested in this stock.

          YOU are Circle K. Aww…..dude, why are you such a jerk with your employees???? Let them carry self defense firearms! What’s wrong with you?

        • You’re only smelling greedy employees. There’s no liability here unless the company had a duty in this regard, breached that duty, and that the breach was the proximate (close enough cause) cause of the damage, and that there were damages. None of that applies in this case.

          This is just another example of people wanting tbeir Fairie Godmother Government to wave a wand and make everything right and make everyone do whatever our personal preference deems is the right thing.

          That’s no different from and no less unrealistic than pearl clutching gun grabbers who believe that signs and laws prevent acts of evil.

    • Ray -vs.- Walmart 2015. Seems to me there is already case law on the books around this type of termination. Not identical, but close enough to be part of the argument.

    • I’m pretty sure these corporate policies are generated by attorneys as a way of fending off lawsuits. To their credit Circle K at first just suspended Jennifer, only firing her when it looked like her comments might cause them legal problems in case they got sued. I think companies who’s long-term employees defend themselves in armed robberies should “suspend” the employee with pay and then quietly re-hire them once the heat fades. That would be a win-win for both the company and the individual.

  2. Glad she will be okay. Even happier if we as TTAG had a hand in helping her.

    Hell, I would send her a gun if I had an FFL to send it to.

    • “Glad she will be okay. Even happier if we as TTAG had a hand in helping her.”

      Her GoFundMe link was posted in the original article’s comment section, so yes, it likely helped increase that number.

      “Hell, I would send her a gun if I had an FFL to send it to.”

      If the rumors are true on who’s job offer she accepted, send the gun to her new employer’s FFL…

  3. I’m so glad that things seem to be coming together for her. She was brave to resist and she was successful! Circle K’s lawyers could learn something from Jennifer.

  4. Well, now. She’s done what about 98-99% of our regulars here haven’t done.

    She knows what it’s like to shoot another person. And she knows that when the shtf she isn’t helpless or useless.

  5. I’m surprised that CNN hasn’t demonized this woman for standing up for herself…or maybe they..i stopped watching ages ago. I’m waiting to see all the protests or kneeling in a pro-Jennifer Wertz way. I don’t hear any outrage from the left about this. I’m happy as hell she did what she did and i hope that the guy she shot, who ‘allegedly’ tried to rob her has a blast of reality entered into his life. He should spend the max amount of time behind bars because if he had succeeded he would have continued to have done this and might have even ended up shooting and/or killing someone because he’s too damn lazy to get a job. Another entitled POS that thinks the world revolves around him. Let justice be done.

  6. I chipped in 5 bucks. IMHO, this is how we win. If we all took these kind of opportunities to chip in some pocket change we can make a huge difference. Like the pizza shop in Indiana. Sure it’s a different cause, but a reporter sought out a small town Christian small business and got the daughter of the business owner to say that they probably would decline to cater a gay wedding (what self respecting homosexual would have his/her/it’s wedding catered by the local 2 bit pizza parlor?). The ‘activists’ shut the place down, but someone set up a go-fund-me page and a week later they had $800,000.

    Sure, this isn’t likely to change Circle K’s policy, but it can change it can change their employees willingness to thumb their noses at corporate and pack their heat anyway.

  7. This is great news about the outpouring of support for her, very uplifting. It’s traumatic for any sane, normal person to have to blast someone, but it sounds like she’ll be better off in the long run.

  8. Reportedly the robber was armed with a “black airsoft style toy gun that ‘could not be differentiated from a real firearm’.” (Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.) This probably explains why Ms. Wertz was able to (by her account) draw her gun, cock it, and shoot even while the robber was pointing his gun in her face. I don’t envy the woman for what she went through– but she’s lucky it wasn’t a real gun.

    • She retrieved her Ruger from her car because she felt a potential need for protection in the coming minutes, and stowed it on or near her person with an empty chamber?

      “She told me she thought she would be shot and killed and never see her kids again … ,” the detective wrote in the complaint. “Because she was in immediate fear of losing her life she pulled out her 9 mm Ruger handgun, ran the slide to chamber a round, she then pulled the trigger one time discharging the firearm.”

    • She felt that there was a high probability of robbery in the coming minutes, so she retrieved her Ruger from her car but didn’t chamber a round?

      “She told me she thought she would be shot and killed and never see her kids again … ,” the detective wrote in the complaint. “Because she was in immediate fear of losing her life she pulled out her 9 mm Ruger handgun, ran the slide to chamber a round, she then pulled the trigger one time discharging the firearm.”

  9. Calibers is a good place. I’ve done a fair bit of business with them. They’ve always been extremely helpful and professional.

    If you’re in Burque they’re a good business.

  10. Happy to hear. Circle-K can KMA. Never will step into such a stink hell hole again. Feel bad for the GOOD folks that still suffer under the circle jerk slime that run that dangerous pile.

  11. Its fucking “Circle K” for God’s sake…. One step above flipping burgers at Hardee’s… Its not like she lost a tenured teaching job at Harvard or something… She’s be fine! Hire her as a security guard!

    • You’re right. Working at Circle K requires more common sense, thought, reason, intellect, and speaking ability than a tenured Harvard position. She deserves a much needed raise.

  12. What I would like to see is these corporate stores held liable for creating an unsafe workplace. No guns for employees? Fine, then post armed guards. Or, get sued for unsafe working conditions.

    • …Actually, Believe it or Not…I spotted a commercial on TV in New England for an Attorney’s office that was now assisting with cases against employers, and businesses that AREN’T providing proper security to stop workplace violence, active shooters or other crimes of violence….Don’t remember the Lawyer’s name…Some guy is the best I can do…But, it may NOT be PRO2@, though it does target legal accountability, and culpability against those that deprive you of YOUR safety, and appears to hold THEIR feet to the fire for doing so….

  13. Glad she had the intestinal fortitude to stand up and protect herself. Sounds like getting fired is the best thing that has happened to her. Circle K needs to have ballistic glass “cage” for their employees. In fact all convenience stores need to do this. We stopped the CS robberies pretty much in Okaloosa County FL. back in the 90s. When there was a rash of these robberies, there were officers stationed in the back of the store unseen by the public. When the robbers entered, there were several that ended up shot by the police when they pulled a gun on the clerk. Robberies dropped off big time.

  14. Wonder if she has case of “wrongful termination ” against Circle K?
    Here is a case of some liberal sitting up in their high rise building all cozy and warmly safe while the employees are down on the front line as expendable fodder…..
    All convience stores are pretty much the same….

  15. I guess Circle K decided the law suit over this woman getting murdered during a robbery would cost less than the law suit of the robber getting shot, because any other reason would just show that they’re callous, vindictive bastards who don’t give a damn about their employees. Oh wait…

  16. I don’t so much want to boycott Circle-K, as I think I’d be better off going places where the overlords think their employees can be trusted with guns.

  17. What a money grab!
    She shot a shmuck with a toy gun – thats why she did’nt get blown away!
    She ran out to her car to get her gun minutes before the attempted robbery – because she heard of another robbery close by… sure she did; what bunch a horsehocky she told the cops – so she does’nt get pinched for illegally carrying a concealed weapon.
    Gullible people sending her wads of cash without knowing she was never in danger, shot a guy with a toy gun!
    Just a young beat down guy without a criminal record and a fake gun!
    What a money grab!


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