Restaurant Cook Shoots Armed Robber, Protecting 20+ Lives In Detroit

Customers at a Detroit restaurant are calling an employee a hero for shooting an armed robber that pointed a gun at customers during a Sunday morning holdup:

Police say the robber was an adult man who was attempting to rob the Pete’s Grill and Coney Island at 1400 East Outer Drive on the city’s east side.

“Next thing I know, I saw everybody getting down on the ground,” said Robert Felton, of Detroit, who was inside the restaurant during the robbery. “This guy was robbing the place. He had the gun on everybody. He was telling everybody, ‘get to the register, I want the register.'”

The employee shot the man, killing him.

“Next thing I know, I hear a bunch of gunshots,” Felton said.

Felton told Local 4’s Nick Monacelli that the robber was telling everyone not to move and was waving the gun back and forth.

“It was a good thing, because the guy was threatening everybody,” Felton said. “There had to be at least 20 people in the restaurant. The guy that works here, he’s a hero. He’s really a hero.”

It isn’t clear at this time whether the cook who shot the robber was carrying a concealed weapon, or whether he had the firearm placed somewhere in the building. What is clear is that Detroit homicide detectives investigating the scene are looking at this as a presumed case of justified self-defense.

Firearms in the hands of good people don’t get a great deal of attention in a media environment that thrives on the mantra, “if it bleeds, it leads.” Capturing and conveying the importance of the individual lives saved in such attacks takes more work and requires more time and legwork from journalists than does simply pointing a camera at victims or their anguished families.

But these lives saved by a good guy with a gun matter all the same.