Marine Vet Stops Armed Robbery in About a Second

'Marine Corps taught me not to [mess] around,' says James Kilcer
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2021 7:28 AM CDT
Updated Oct 24, 2021 12:50 PM CDT

As he turned to leave a gas station convenience store, James Kilcer saw a handgun pointed in his direction. He didn't hesitate. Within about a second, the 32-year-old Marine veteran reached out, disarmed the masked individual who'd just walked in, and pushed him toward the floor, per USA Today. A second person wearing a bandana over the face, who'd followed the armed individual into the store, turned around and raced out the door, stumbling a little. A third individual in a white Halloween-style mask, who'd yet to make it through the door, took off, too.

Surveillance footage of the interaction has now been watched millions of time across platforms since it was shared Wednesday by the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office of Arizona. The sheriff's office said deputies arrived at the Chevron in Yuma around 4:30am Wednesday to find Kilcer holding the juvenile suspect, who was booked into a detention facility on charges including armed robbery and aggravated assault, per KNXV. Asked how he took control of the situation, Kilcer reportedly told deputies, "the Marine Corps taught me not to [mess] around."

"The situation had to be dealt with, and there was really only one way to deal with it," Kilcer, now a contractor with the Defense Department, told KNXV. "I picked my target and … he took an extra step towards me, towards the counter and he was in my reach," he added. "I hit him and the gun before my keys hit the ground." Kilcer said he also hit the suspect, who claimed to be 14, in the face with his shopping bag and "may or may not have broke his nose because he was bleeding all over the place." Deputies are continuing to search for the pair who fled. (More armed robbery stories.)

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