Dramatic security camera footage captured the moment a pharmacist pulled his concealed weapon and took on an armed robber to save the lives of eight people Wednesday in Pinch, West Virginia.
Don Radcliff first tried to diffuse the situation with humor when he saw the masked man at the counter, but when Terry Gillenwater, 25, produced a gun, Radcliff didn’t hesitate.
Radcliff pulled his concealed carry pistol and got a two-handed grip on it as Gillenwater’s view was obscured by two employers that the criminal had at gunpoint. Radcliff then stepped to the side, quickly raised his pistol, and center-punched Gillenwater with a shot that appears to have hit him in the heart.
The criminal clamped his left arm to his chest and wilted to the ground when he realized he’d been hit, then raised his gun at Radcliff to fire a shot. The pharmacist saw the movement and fired again, hitting the armed robber’s gun, rendering it inoperable. Gillenwater then attempted to flee towards the back of the store where customers and employees were attempting to hide, and Radcliff fired a third shot.
Gillenwater dropped, off-camera, no longer a threat.
Radcliff made sure that Gillenwater was no longer a threat, and then tried to render aid to the man who had just tried to kill him.
From first shot the last, the gunfight lasted just four seconds.
Radcliff was back on the job Thursday, shaken, but sure that he did the right thing in protecting his life and the lives of seven other customers and employees.
The deeply religious pharmacist was still trying to process the events of the day before that saw him fire three shots without a misstep. His daily devotional for the day seemed tailor-made for the occasion.
Radcliff said he has received tremendous support from his family and friends, but also from his faith. Radcliff shared Thursday’s devotion from his daily devotional.
“Thursday, February 19th, John 10, 7 to 18, ‘A thief comes only to steal and to kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.’ That’s verse 10,” Radcliff said. “Abundance isn’t God’s provision for me to live in luxury; it’s his provision for me to help others live.”
Radcliff said it is exactly what he needed to hear.
“So many times when I read this daily devotional it’s exactly what I need to hear. And today it was what I needed to hear,” Radcliff said.
It’s also interesting to note the three (shots fired) and seven (other people saved) are very important recurrent numbers in the Bible, and it is perhaps that knowledge that left WCHS reporter Kenny Bass visibly moved as he concluded his report at ABC 8.
Taking a life is traumatic for most people, but will his faith as his guide, and secure in his knowledge that his actions protected so many other people, I suspect that Mr. Radcliff will be just fine.