Store Owner Who Gave Armed Robbers a Taste of Their Own Medicine is Repeat Defender

Most of us who carry a firearm for self-defense will never have to use it. For one man in Mesquite, Texas, however, defensive gun use is becoming a habit.

For the third time in the past five years, armed robbers struck the Cash for Gold shop in Mesquite, Texas this week. The store’s owner, who spoke to FOX 4 News in Dallas/Fort Worth, says each and every time he’s been able to fend them off.


“It’s a quick 3 seconds. No time to think, it’s all reaction,” said Tien, the store owner who asked we only reveal his first name for his safety.

The owner’s quick reaction might have just saved his life.

Surveillance video from last Thursday at the Cash4Gold on Town East Boulevard in Mesquite shows the intense confrontation.

Tien is in the back of the store when two masked and hooded men come inside. One pulls out a gun and a shootout begins.

“Everything was slow motion to me. I saw the mask, I saw the hoodie, I saw the gun come out,” he said.

Once he saw the gun, Tien didn’t wait to be shot at first. He drew his own gun and fired at the armed robber, who shot back at least three times before fleeing the store with his accomplice.

A similar incident happened back in 2019 when two armed suspects strolled into the store. Tien once again spotted their guns before they spotted his and he was able to fire what he called a warning shot, sending them scurrying back out the door.

Tien told FOX 4 that criminals seem to think cash and gold businesses are easy targets, but that’s definitely not the case… and not only for his shop. I’ve got a few friends and acquaintances who work in the same industry, and every one of them is armed on the job for the same reason Tien carries a gun at work. Some criminals are smart enough to figure out that people working in a business involving a lot of money and gold aren’t going to be defenseless, but there’ll always be some idiot who thinks he’s figured out an easy way to score cash and prizes by robbing one of these establishments at gunpoint.


After three hold-ups in five years, you might think that Tien is ready to look for another job, but he says he isn’t going anywhere.

Tien told FOX 4 he isn’t going to move the store for three reasons.

“Part luck, part awareness, part prep. It all adds up,” he said.

He’s absolutely right. Carrying a gun for self-defense doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to use it but it can provide an opportunity that wouldn’t otherwise exist, and you can increase the odds of a successful defensive gun use by having situational awareness and the muscle memory that comes from regular training with your firearm, whether at the range or at home. Spending time doing live-fire drills is useful, but so too are dry-fire exercises and practicing drawing your (unloaded) gun from its holster. The more you train, the faster your reaction time and the better your odds of surviving an encounter with a violent criminal.

So far police haven’t arrested any suspects in connection with the attempted armed robbery, and I hope while they’re still out on the street they’re spreading the word to stay the heck away from Tien’s shop unless they’re looking to get shot. I’d hate to be the next guy to try my luck with the armed store owner, but it’d be even better if Tien doesn’t have to engage in a fourth defensive gun use in the future.


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