Would-be armed robber flees after he's confronted by armed store clerk

A would-be robber in Escambia County, Florida is behind bars and facing multiple charges after bringing a shotgun into a convenience store in the hopes of getting away with some quick cash.

Instead, the crook was greeted by a clerk who was armed with a gun of his own. After seeing the pistol in the clerk’s hand, the suspect suddenly realized he had somewhere else he needed to be and departed the store with gun in hand but without any cash from the till.

It was all caught on camera, and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has released the footage showing the encounter between the armed citizen and the suspect.

32-year old Rakim Stephen Tate was taken into custody on September 15th, almost a week after the aborted robbery attempt detailed by the sheriff in a news release.

On September 9, 2022, a bad decision became a worse decision when a shotgun-wielding man entered a convenience store on the 4000-block of North Pace Blvd. With the shotgun close to his side, he walks into the store and looks around. At this time, he doesn’t notice anyone behind the counter…so he watches and waits.
Unbeknownst to the “would-be” robber, a store employee had watched him arm himself before entering the store. This employee headed to the backroom to arm himself (with his own personal gun).
Back to this “would-be” robber…with his shotgun in hand, he waits for the employee to emerge. Seconds later, when he sees the employee return, he freezes…oh boy. The employee returned to the counter holding his own gun toward the befuddled attempted robber. He then fumbles for words, resorting to meaningless babble about being from Chicago. Words seem to fail you when your felony attempt is thwarted by lawful and righteous force. Thankfully, he decides that it is not the time for a robbery, and he slowly exits the store.
Now Tate has been charged with charged with openly carrying a prohibited weapon as well as attempted robbery with a firearm. According to the sheriff, the Benelli shotgun carried by Tate has also been recovered, though there’s no word on whether or not Tate legally acquired it.
While we don’t know for sure what Tate might have done if he confronted a clerk who wasn’t able to defend themselves, I think it’s safe to say that this robbery attempt would have played out very differently. At the very least the suspect would have gotten away with the cash he was after, but he could have also hurt or killed the store employee. Just a few days after the clerk in Florida protected himself with “lawful and righteous force,” a convenience store clerk in Mississippi who apparently was unarmed was shot and killed by a robber, and similar stories are unfortunately not hard to find.

Outside P & J Liquor a memorial grows for Nader Alkouli. He was a 46-year-old clerk who was gunned down in front of the store.

“He was friends with all of us and we’re devastated from this,” said Carol O’Neal a store customer.

O’Neal says she had been friends with Alkouli for roughly 10 years.

She says he would always help the less fortunate.

“Everybody in this community and in this neighborhood loved him,” O’Neal said. “If somebody was short 10 cents of 15 he would take it out of his pocket and put it in the register.”

San Bernardino police say Tuesday evening around 8 p.m. Alkouli was shot outside the store.

Alkouli’s family didn’t want to be interviewed on camera but his son Mike described what happened after seeing the surveillance video.

He says his father followed a man outside because the man had stolen something.

The man turned around and faced his father. Alkouli backed away when he saw a gun, but the suspect shot him in the stomach.

Witness Monica Hop was there.

“The robber used that gun on someone that we all needed,” Hop said.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to worry about cowardly criminals who are willing to take an innocent human life over a couple of bucks in a cash register. Unfortunately that’s not the world we live (and work) in, but we should at least have the ability to protect ourselves while working jobs that are magnets for those looking for a quick cash grab at the point of a knife or gun.