Armed store clerk shoots robber, stops multi-state crime spree

CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS / @CSI:cafe" by [puamelia] is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED.

A man who led police in Florida and Georgia on a multi-state chase after allegedly committing an armed robbery at a north Florida gas station is now in custody and in critical condition after his crime spree was stopped by an armed clerk at a convenience store in Camden County, Georgia.

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According to authorities, Qwinntavus Kwame Jordan held up a gas station in Flagler County, Florida early Friday morning and was spotted by law enforcement heading north on I-95 a short time later. Agencies including the Florida Highway Patrol, the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office pursued Jordan until he crossed the state line in Georgia, where deputies with the Camden County Sheriff’s Office deployed stop sticks in an attempt to disable his vehicle.

Jordan did stop his car, but ran away on foot and entered another nearby convenience store where he pointed a gun at a clerk and demanded his keys.

The suspect then took the clerk’s vehicle and started to flee but then crashed the vehicle through the front of the convenience store. The suspect then exited the vehicle and chased the clerk and a customer through the store and a struggle ensued.

The clerk, who was now armed, shot the suspect approximately 8 times according to Georgia authorities. The suspect was taken into custody and transported to a hospital for his injuries.

As it turns out, Jordan was already a wanted man when he allegedly robbed the gas station in Florida and led authorities on the chase into Georgia. Authorities in Coffee County, Georgia had issued a warrant for his arrest on previous armed robbery charges just the day before, though details of that case are unknown at this time.

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After Jordan was taken into custody, law enforcement had high praise for the armed citizen who put an end to the multi-state crime spree.

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly commended his team for its fast action and thanked all the agencies that assisted in apprehending the fugitive.

“I also commend the Georgia store clerk that put a swift end to this dirtbag’s crime spree,” he stated in the post. “If he survives his injuries, he should spend a long time in prison.”

“Should” and “will” are two very different things, of course, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see prosecutors offer Jordan a plea bargain if and when he does leave the hospital. With over 90% of all criminal cases ending in a plea deal, the odds are good that Jordan will be the beneficiary of a criminal justice system that far too often seems to value expediency over consequences for serious crimes.

As for the store clerk and the customers inside, thankfully it sounds like no one suffered any serious injuries in their encounter with Jordan. Given that the clerk was clearly acting in self-defense after first trying to cooperate with the armed suspect, it looks like he won’t be facing any charges in connection with the shooting either. Who knows what might have happened had this clerk not been able to protect himself customers, but given Jordan’s previous criminal history and the charges he’s currently facing it’s hard to argue that he didn’t pose a legitimate threat to the lives and safety of everyone inside that store. Sheriff Staly is right to praise the life-saving actions of this clerk, and I hope that he’s commended by local officials and his employer as well.

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