A would-be robber Chicago man tried to play “tough” guy in Escambia County, Florida he brought a shotgun into a convenience shop in an attempt to flee with some quick cash when he quickly found out that the folks in Florida actually fight back… Hard.
Instead, a clerk who was equipped with a gun of his own confronted the thief. The suspect left the store with the revolver in hand but no money from the register after noticing the firearm in the clerk’s hand and realizing he had somewhere else he needed to go.
The incident between the armed citizen and the suspect was captured on camera, and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has made the video footage public.
The suspect 32-year old Rakim Stephen Tate was apprehended on September 15th, about a week after the foiled robbery attempt.
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office described the course of the incident in a Facebook post:
On September 9, 2022, a bad decision became a worse decision when a shotgun-wielding man entered a convenience store on the 4000-block of North Pace Blvd. With the shotgun close to his side, he walks into the store and looks around. At this time, he doesn’t notice anyone behind the counter…so he watches and waits. Unbeknownst to the “would-be” robber, a store employee had watched him arm himself before entering the store. This employee headed to the backroom to arm himself (with his own personal gun).
Back to this “would-be” robber…with his shotgun in hand, he waits for the employee to emerge. Seconds later, when he sees the employee return, he freezes…oh boy. The employee returned to the counter holding his own gun toward the befuddled attempted robber. He then fumbles for words, resorting to meaningless babble about being from Chicago. Words seem to fail you when your felony attempt is thwarted by lawful and righteous force. Thankfully, he decides that it is not the time for a robbery, and he slowly exits the store.”
Tate has now been charged with attempted robbery with a firearm and openly carrying a prohibited weapon. Although it is unknown whether Tate properly purchased the shotgun he was carrying, the sheriff claims that it has also been located.
I believe it is safe to conclude that this robbery attempt would have gone significantly differently if Tate had encountered a clerk who was unable to protect themself, even though we are unsure of what he could have done.
But all thanks to Florida law that states: Florida is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons licenses issued at the state level by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
Because when it comes to “Self defense,” the Florida laws state:
“A person is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony or to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground provided that the person is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.”
The culprit could have injured or murdered the store employee, but at the very least he would have escaped with the money he was chasing.