From WFTV of January 6, 2009
Customer Describes Fatal Shooting Of Robbery Suspect
An eyewitness saw a robber brutally beating a store clerk in Ocoee, so he pulled a gun out of his car at the Kangaroo gas station on Franklin Street and fatally shot the robber.
That witness talked to Eyewitness News about his decision to pull the trigger and said he'd shoot that robber again if he had to.
He's a regular at the store and said he was coming to buy some cigarettes when he heard the clerk screaming. He told Eyewitness News he not only grabbed his cell phone to call 911, but also pulled a loaded handgun out of his car.
"I opened up, popped that out," Chris told Eyewitness News on Tuesday, about 12 hours after the incident.
Eyewitness News agreed to only use his first name, because he's afraid of retaliation, but he showed exactly what he did when he heard the clerk at the Ocoee store being attacked Monday around 11:00pm.
"I pull up like this and said, 'Stop,' and, as he came up, I came straight up, fired, 'Pop, pop,' two shots," Chris said.
Those shots hit and killed 40-year-old Freddie Carson. Public records show he has a rap sheet going back to 1987, including charges like battery and burglary.
"I'm upset. I mean, trust me. I'm not happy about taking a man's life," Chris said.
Police said they're still investigating whether Chris will face any charges by coming to the rescue with a gun. Eyewitness News learned he was been convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession in 2005 and was re-arrested in 2007 for a probation violation.
"I don't do that no more," Chris told Eyewitness News. "You learn your lesson."
This time, the 26-year-old says he was within his rights when he took his gun out of his car to stop a robbery in progress.
"I was not going to sit there and watch a friend get beat to death. Would I do it again? I'm upset, but, yes, I would do it again," he said.
The store clerk was transported to Health Central Hospital with head injuries, but details on her condition were not released.
Investigators are also looking into whether or not there may have been a second robbery suspect who fled the scene.
Chris did not have a concealed weapons permit, but he was protected by two other laws that allow drivers to carry guns in their cars and allow gun owners to start shooting if they witness a violent felony.