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"Robbery Plan Backfires"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bratch, Feb 21, 2007.

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  1. bratch

    bratch Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Headline story in today's Daily Oklahoman.

    Sounds like another good shoot. Sig 9mm with Glasers shot through a two-way mirror.

    By Ken Raymond
    Staff Writer
    The gun was black. Or silver. Definitely big, though, and definitely a revolver.

    And it was pointed right at Daniel Ray's head.

    For the moment, that fact — not the gun's color or a description of the gunman — was all that registered in Ray's mind.

    The whole thing didn't compute. One moment he'd been about to lock up Joe's Pawn and Bargain Center at 1825 NE 23 and go get some dinner at a Chinese buffet, and the next, the gunman and his two accomplices had burst inside, demanding money and threatening him and his coworkers.

    For a few long minutes Monday, the robbers were in charge.

    Then Ray's boss, Mike Wilbanks, opened fire from behind a two-way mirror. Two robbers were hit, and all three rushed out the door, leaving behind a heap of the pawn shop's jewelry and a trail of blood. Three suspects were later arrested on armed robbery complaints.

    • Robert Jamel Pennington, 17, of Oklahoma City was not shot. He made bail Tuesday and was released from the Oklahoma County jail.

    • Kentrell Smith, 16, of Oklahoma City was shot in an elbow and thigh. He is still in jail.

    • Garrick Lee Thomas, 17, was shot twice in the back and a bullet grazed his ear, police said. He is still in jail.

    Ray and his co-workers were unharmed.

    Turning the tables
    A minute or two before 6 p.m. Monday, Ray moved out from behind the glass counter of the pawn shop and paused to talk to his two coworkers. Once the clock hit six, he planned to close up for the night.

    Just before that happened, though, the gunman strolled in, holding the gun loosely at his side. At first, Ray, the store manager, thought the fellow wanted to pawn the weapon. He opened his mouth to say that the store doesn't deal in guns, but never had a chance to speak before the gun was aimed at his head.

    Mike Wilbanks didn't know what was going on. Wilbanks, 39, owns the shop. He was sitting in his office behind a two-way mirror when the three robbers burst in, two of them smashing open a glass display counter and scooping up jewelry.

    Absorbed in answering e-mails, Wilbanks didn't notice anything amiss. He didn't even hear the robbers shouting at his workers.

    It wasn't until an employee rushed into the office, white-faced and breathless, that Wilbanks learned what was going on. He didn't really have to pause to think.

    Wilbanks has never wanted to shoot anybody, but he's thought about it. A lot. He grew up around his father's pawn shops, which weren't usually in the best of neighborhoods. He can remember his dad hiding him behind a safe while a gunfight raged outside one of the family's stores, and he's always known that businesses like his sometimes attract criminals.

    He learned to shoot a gun, getting good enough to shoot competitively. He took a self-defense course and received a conceal-carry permit. He prepared himself, as best he could, for the possibility that he might someday have to shoot someone.

    So when he peered through the two-way mirror and saw Ray with a gun to his head, he pulled a Sig Sauer 9 mm semiautomatic out of his desk and drew a bead on the intruder, not realizing other robbers were inside the store.

    "I got him in my sights,” said Wilbanks, "but I didn't want to endanger anyone else. At some point, he started waving the gun around at other employees, telling them to give him the cash, and my manager backed way, way up, completely out of my line of fire.

    "As soon as that happened, I had a clean shot on him, and I just started pulling the trigger.”

    Wilbanks' gun was loaded with special safety rounds designed to prevent stray bullets from penetrating walls or other hard surfaces and striking unintended targets. Wilbanks pulled the trigger four times, shattering the mirror and apparently striking the gunman, then fired four more times as the robbers fled.

    One of his employees dove behind the counter as the shots were fired, pulled out a gun and fired more shots, Wilbanks said.

    The robbers were gone.

    Standing up
    Pennington and Smith were arrested later that night after seeking treatment at a local hospital, police said. Thomas was picked up at an unknown location.

    At this point, said Oklahoma City police Sgt. Paco Balderrama, the shooting is considered justified, although that determination ultimately will be made by the Oklahoma County district attorney's office.

    "Fearing for his employee's life, he (Wilbanks) began shooting,” Balderrama said. "It's an open case. If someone else is in imminent danger, it would be justified.”

    For his part, Wilbanks is happy he stood up to the robbers — and even happier he didn't kill anyone.

    "There have been a lot of robberies in this area. ... I hope we sent a message that we're not going to tolerate that,” he said.
  2. Bruce333

    Bruce333 Member

    Aug 22, 2005
    Smithfield NC
  3. 6_gunner

    6_gunner Member

    Dec 4, 2006
    I like the fact that they said "special safety rounds" instead of "hollowpoints intended to inflict maximum damage".

    Maybe there's hope for the media yet.

    If more papers printed stories like this maybe robbers would think twice about trying to terrorize people!
  4. mpmarty

    mpmarty Member

    Jul 12, 2006
    So. Western Oregon
    The bail

    is only $20,000 so they can get out and rob a few more times to gather money to pay their attorney(s). After all they are entitled to a defense. Hopefully the dirtbags will try a sporting goods store next and the employees will use overlapping fields of fire.
  5. bill larry

    bill larry Member

    Jan 12, 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
    They were Glaser saftey slugs, which are frangible rounds, not hollowpoints.
  6. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

    Oct 10, 2006
    North Idaho

    At last we get to know what defensive weapon was used, along with the type of ammo.

    I notice they still scrimped a bit
    And you were doing so well.

    Pulled out a [__________] and fired . . . ?

    Altogether, though, I'm happy to have more complete reportage.
  7. bratch

    bratch Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Yeah it is missed it when I looked for it posted.
  8. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Oh, yeah?
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