It was a week ago today when 24-year old Marlon Mascoe walked into the New York Hair barbershop in Melbourne, Florida looking to get a haircut. What should have been a quick in-and-out turned into shots fired, however, after Mascoe allegedly drew a gun after taking offense to a quip from the owner of the shop.
According to that owner, while Mascoe was waiting for a particular barber to become available, the owner offered to cut his hair instead, saying that “he had nappy hair like me.” Rather than laughing off the remark, Mascoe walked out of the shop, only to return a few minutes later with a mask on his face and a gun in his hand.
The barber said Mascoe said, “This is real, this is a real gun” and pointed the weapon at barbers and patrons in the shop.
A witness later told Melbourne police, “When (Mascoe) was pointing it at me … I was looking down the barrel.”
As Mascoe continued to point the gun at people, the shop owner said he retrieved his firearm and ducked behind a barber chair.
The barber said when Mascoe turned, he took the opportunity to shoot him. After Mascoe was on the ground, the barber instructed someone else to call 911, according to the report.
In the 911 call, the caller described what had unfolded inside the shop.
“Somebody ran in here with a gun and aimed it at the barber and he got shot,” the caller said, adding “self-defense, stand your ground.”
The shop owner told police two young children were crying and screaming through the incident.
“We got kids in here and everything,” the caller said.
Mascoe was shot in the hip and was taken to a local hospital after he was arrested by arriving officers. Now the 24-year old is facing charges of displaying a firearm during the commission of a felony as well as three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The barbershop owner, on the other hand, isn’t facing any charges at all. Not only was he acting in self-defense, but he may have saved several other lives with his quick thinking and steady aim.
I’m somewhat surprised that the city of Melbourne and the local police department haven’t any type of statement praising the barbershop owner for his defensive gun use. Mayor Paul Alfrey is a former police officer and Coast Guard veteran, and as someone who’s protected and served his community, you’d think that he’d want to highlight armed citizens acting in defense of themselves and others. As far as I can tell, however, neither the mayor, police chief, or any city council member have made any sort of public statement about the actions of the barbershop owner.
I’d suggest inviting the owner of New York Hair to the next city council meeting to thank him in person and to commend him for looking out for himself and his customers. The barbershop owner doesn’t necessarily need to be awarded the key to the city, but a little recognition for his good deed would be an appropriate gesture on the part of city officials.