Armed felon shot by clerk at New Orleans Dollar General store

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

A New Orleans man is facing serious charges, as well as recovering from his injuries, after allegedly pulling a gun on a Dollar General clerk in New Orleans, Louisiana.


While the incident happened back in April, the arrest of 49-year-old Roderick Bennett didn’t make local headlines until recently, when police arrested Bennett on charges of aggravated assault with a firearm along with illegally possessing the gun as a convicted felon.

Police said Bennett was arguing an item’s price April 11 with an employee at the Dollar General store in the 2800 block of South Claiborne Avenue. A witness told them that Bennett pointed a gun at the employee, prompting the employee to shoot him in the chest.

Bennett crawled to his car, but en route to a hospital, he crashed the vehicle, police wrote in documents filed in Criminal District Court. Someone picked him and drove him the rest of the way, and he was taken into surgery in critical condition, the documents say.

Six days later, detectives interviewed Bennett. He told them he didn’t remember anything, including the argument.

Thankfully there were witnesses around to corroborate the employee’s side of the story, including Bennett pulling out his gun and demanding the employee leave the store to fight him outside. According to the Times-Picayune, store surveillance footage shows Bennett starting to exit the Dollar General before he turns around with his gun in hand and approaches the clerk. That’s when the employee drew his own firearm and fired a single shot in self-defense.


This isn’t the first time we’ve covered a self-defense shooting at a Dollar General. Back in October of 2019 a manager at a Dayton, Ohio store was forced to shoot an armed robber, and a grand jury declined to charge the manager with any crime, and last year we reported on two defensive gun uses at dollar stores in a one-week period; first an incident in Miami where the wife of a Family Dollar manager had to come to her husband’s aid when a terminated employee allegedly pulled a gun and began firing, and a second shooting in Philadelphia where a Dollar General manager and licensed concealed carry holder shot and killed a robber who had armed himself with a realistic-looking but fake firearm.

We’ve also seen incidents where store employees have been charged with shooting would-be robbers, including an incident this past January in Monroe, Louisiana where a clerk was facing manslaughter charges. Thankfully, last Friday a grand jury rejected those charges and cleared the employee of any wrongdoing.

Rafus Anderson was charged with manslaughter after shooting and killing an armed robbery suspect in January.

According to the Monroe Police Department, they responded to an armed robbery call at the store located in Monroe on Jan. 2.

Authorities said Anderson shot the robber, later identified as Monquarius Thomas, and they found him outside of the store on the ground with the money he was accused of taking.

Thomas ended up dying.

A customer was also shot in the robbery attempt but was treated at a hospital and released.

Police said Anderson told them he was acting in self-defense while protecting the customers in the store. He said he was afraid that Thomas was going to kill him when he pulled out a gun.


According to Anderson, the robber attempt that ended with Thomas being fatally shot in self-defense was the sixth time the store had been robbed in five months. I’m more surprised that Anderson kept showing up for work than the fact that he was carrying a firearm on the job, which seems like an eminently reasonable choice to make when working in such a dangerous environment.

Now that we have two recent self-defense stories involving Dollar General employees, maybe the word will start getting out to the criminal community in Louisiana that these locations aren’t the easy target they might think. At the very least, I hope more employees are prompted to get some training and lawfully carry as well so that if they’re ever in a similar situation they’ve got a shot at making it home safely to their family at the end of their shift.

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