tv Caught on Camera MSNBC October 13, 2013 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
resso's so passionate about its new tomato florentine soup it took a little time to get it just right. [ ding ] ♪ ♪ but finally, it happened. perfection. at progresso, we've got a passion for quality, because you've got a passion for taste. criminals caught on surveillance cameras bursting into restaurants, armed with guns and knives. >> at one point i just thought my life was just over. >> jumping over convenience store counters. >> get on the floor, get on the floor. >> and terrifying unsuspects customers and clerks. >> i'm going to cut your throat. >> they had one goal to get what they needed at any cost. >> but in some cases, when the target is armed the tables are
turned. >> he was squirming around on the floor and i said, hey, you weren't thinking about 911 when you was robbing me. >> this is the real deal. this is an automatic. do not like automatics, and now i've got to kill these guys. "caught on camera: armed and dangerous." panic erupts when three masked gunmen storm a restaurant demanding cash and jewelry and it's all caught on surveillance cameras. >> we felt like at one point i was going to die. >> all he has to do is pull that trigger and we're shot in the face. >> more helpless than anything. >> april 23rd, 2011, houston, texas. it's just after 2:00 a.m. and hungry partiers move from the nightclubs to the 24-hour waffle
house to wind down the night. >> one of the party goers' favorite places to eat when the bars close. so we usually get pretty full. >> you could tell that everybody that was at waffle house that night had come from a club. because that's what people usually do. >> patrons have just arrived for a late-night snack when suddenly, three men burst in with guns. surveillance cameras record the violent ordeal as it unfolds. >> we hadn't been there not even five minutes because we hadn't even placed our order for drinks yet. saw the guy run in and that's when i noticed he was standing in front of the other guy with a gun in front of his head. >> waffle house employee, brent bjorklund, is also stunned by the brazen robbery. >> when the robbers came in, my back was towards the entrance. i was making waffles at the time. i really didn't hear them and i turned to my right and saw a lady fall out of her chair. i thought she had just had too much to drink.
that's when i realized what was going on. i saw three guys with guns and i didn't know what to do. try to run, try to -- i just didn't have any earthly idea what to do. >> everybody was, like, paranoid. you could see everybody trying to hide underneath the table. i was trying to slide down off of my seat to get underneath the table. i couldn't go nowhere. all i could think about was this guy holding a big gun. the whole time i thought we all was going to die. >> while almost everyone tries to take cover, the cameras cover gerald cole, a regular at the waffle house, making a bold move and attempting to escape. >> one split second, i thought i had a chance to break and run to the door. when i looked, two guys with masks. one had a shotgun. one had a gun. i broke and run toward the door. there was another guy with a mask on. told me, he said if you move
i'll blow your brains out. i thought i was going to die. >> instead, the gunman strikes gerald cole on the head, knocking him to the floor. >> he hits me on the right side of my face. at one point, i just thought that my life was just over. >> i personally thought that they was going to rough him up just because he was trying to be slick and get out. >> terrified, cole stays face down on the ground while the gunman continues to rob the other customers. >> my friend that was sitting in front of me, she had hid a purse behind her back and he saw that and came and snatched her purse and put it on the table and told her, empty out this purse. i'm guessing she was still in shock, because she was moving in slow motion, just taking it out, one by one, piece by piece. >> they wanted money. wallets, jewelry. he came up behind me and patted me on my wallet that was in the pocket of my pants. he was like give me your
wallet. i said, buddy, let me give you all the cash i got but let me keep my wallet for my i.d. and my social security card. >> he was like yeah, sure, keep that stuff, it's hard to get back. >> they were screaming and telling the people behind the counter, you know, open up the registers. >> the camera shows the thieves emptying the cash register, but they have their eyes on an even bigger prize. >> i didn't think anyone's life was in danger until they asked one of our waitresses to unlock our drop box under the register. no one who works the night shift has a key to the drop box. that's the only time i ever got scared for anybody, because they seemed to think someone there did have a key. >> unable to get it open, the gunmen leave without the money from the drop box, but they still escape with around $2,000 in cash. >> i was still face down. they took mostly everything from everybody out of there. it felt like to me, like death. that's what it felt like to me. >> after the robbers leave, one
victim decides to take the law into his own hands. the surveillance footage shows the man running to his car to grab a gun. he darts across the parking lot followed by another customer and shoots in the direction of the fleeing robbers. >> i wasn't out there to see who was shooting at who, but i know i heard commotion. >> i heard gunshots outside after the robbery. >> despite the customer's effort to stop them, the three armed men escape. someone in the restaurant calls the police. they arrive at the waffle house shortly after the incident and take statements from the stunned customers. >> it's not an everyday occurrence where 16 people are robbed at once. >> jeff braden is with the houston police department and is the lead investigator on the case. he can see from the surveillance tape that the robbery is well planned. >> they were very strategic in how it played out. one suspect stood by the door and the other suspect handled
the kitchen area and went back to where the cooks were and the other suspect went to the other side of the waffle house to handle those people. everybody had a plan. >> other than the video, the masked robbers leave little evidence for detectives to follow. >> two of the three had gloves on. they made it difficult for us to be able to retrieve any kind of dna evidence simply because the fact they simply didn't leave any behind. >> two weeks after the robbery, detective breeden receives a call from the harris county police department. >> a suspect was arrested in an unrelated robbery in harris county and our guys obtained the initial confession. he was the individual carrying the rifle during the robbery. he gave us two additional names as suspects. >> neither suspect pans out. one of the men has an alibi, and witnesses can't identify the other suspect out of a lineup. so far, no one is charged with the waffle house robbery, even
the man who confessed. >> being that he was in charge -- wasn't charged in this particular case, he was charged in other cases where it was much stronger, we had a better case on him. >> with the case at a standstill and with the surveillance video available to watch on youtube, both mitchell and cole say they're having a difficult time putting the terrifying experience behind them. >> it kind of makes you have a different perspective on life. if something happens to me, who is going to take care of my son? nobody is going to love your child or take care of your child the way that you take care of them. >> i go to the store, get a tank of gas or buy coke or chips and buy groceries and then i think someone is going to rob me. >> you sit there and you watch it and you think, what would i do? so it makes you think. coming up -- a seemingly mild-mannered jewelry store owner surprises two armed men when they try to hold up his shop. >> this is the real deal.
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>> february 14th, 2005. it's a few minutes before 9:00 a.m. in bardonia, new york, a town 35 miles north of new york city. and barry fixler is about to open his jewelry store for the annual valentine's day rush. >> gentlemen come in from 9:00 in the morning until about 8:00 at night. pick up a heart real quick. engagement ring real quick. something for their girlfriend fiancee or their wife. >> so, when two men show up at the door a little early, barry doesn't think twice about letting them into the shop. >> i opened the door. they followed me into the store. went around the counter. one of the fellows says i'd like to see engagement rings. >> the man in the black coat stares into the display case and singles one out. a routine fixler has seen thousands of times. >> figured this is just a normal sale. the other fellow actually joked around and said that, i'm trying to talk my buddy out of this. it was sort of a joke.
>> fixler hands the man a diamond ring. he examines the ring closely, as if he's considering buying it. but fixler senses something is off. >> i seen that he was hesitating. and the price tag of that ring was $14,000. so i figured to myself, maybe that price is a little too much. >> as fixler and the man talk something unexpected happens. >> what comes in my face is an automatic pistol. >> the gunman demands money, but fixler has no intention of giving in to his threats. the robbers don't realize it yet, but the unassuming shop keeper is not as defenseless as he appears. >> my brain went into, this is the real deal. this is an automatic. do not like automatics and now i got to kill these guys. i pushed the weapon out of my face, i bolted about eight, ten feet to where i have my revolver hidden, took it out of the holster and came up, pointed guns at each other and i just fired away. >> fixler aims at point-blank
range and shoots both men in the chest. the dramatic moment is played out in front of the store's surveillance camera. >> as you view the surveillance tape, you could see him cursing, i'll kill you, i'll kill, i'll kill you. now he's mad at me. he probably thought i just ran to duck underneath the counter and a scaredy-cat, not knowing that i'm armed. as i went around the counter, i shot the other fellow who was also armed. in the side of the chest. he goes down. they both go down. the fellow i shot at the first time actually got up stepped over his so-called partner to race out of the store. >> the man in black escapes unharmed because he's wearing a bulletproof vest. but the man on the ground is badly wounded. it turns out he isn't wearing one. >> his partner was shot in the side. his spinal cord is severed.
but actually makes it to my door and collapses. >> the man in the black coat, who had just high-tailed it out of the store, jumps into a brown minivan, the get-away car, and screeches out of the parking lot, leaving the second man behind. the clarkstown police department responds within minutes. when detective bill fritz arrives he finds fixler pistol in hand standing in a defensive position and screaming at the man on the ground. >> i think he was in fear of his life. i think he believed at the time that they were going to shoot him. he just kept repeating that he couldn't believe that it happened to him. >> the man in the black coat who jumped into the getaway car is matthew ross. he's eventually captured, convicted of attempted robbery, and sentenced to ten years in prison. the man in the white hoodie, joseph nipper, is also convicted of attempted robbery but dies two years after the shooting from complications from his wounds. what ross and nipper didn't know
that day was that fixler is a combat veteran who fought in vietnam. and not the nerdy, easy target they expected. >> they probably figured i'm the last guy to know how to use a weapon. >> fixler is not charged with any crime. he legally possessed the handgun he used. and with the help of the videotape, police determined he had the right to defend himself because he was in fear for his life. after the robbery, fixler receives an outpouring of support from the community and wants to find a way to give back. >> i'm in this community for 20 years, in business for over 20 years. they know that i just came from a life and death situation. >> the retired marine starts by helping local war veterans, including sergeant eddie ryan who was wounded in the iraq war. >> sergeant ryan sustained a head injury in battle, and in learning of this, barry fixler donated the profits from his store the following valentine's day to the family of eddie rye
san so they could make repairs or changes to the house so they could accommodate their son. >> sergeant eddie ryan's parents are grateful for the help that fixler has given them. >> i could never repay this guy for what he's done for us. he doesn't want payment. he just wants to do it for eddie. he says eddie did it for us, and i'm doing it for eddie. >> fixler also writes a book about the robbery and his vietnam experience called "semper cool" and donates all royalties to wounded veterans through the barry fixler foundation. >> i want to honor the men and women serving today. the men and women serving when i was in service. and, also, to leave a legacy to my family that, you know what, i'm a good guy. i love my family and i love my country. >> the retired marine continues to run his jewelry store. always mindful of the day two gunmen tried to rob him. >> i look like a very easy going
fellow. non-threat fellow, nerdy. so they really came thinking this is going to be a cake walk. this is the easiest thing ever. and it turned out not to be the easiest thing ever. coming up -- a store manager who never fired a gun in her life ends a robbery with one shot. >> got up like i was coming around and i grabbed the gun. >> when "caught on camera: armed and dangerous" continues. ♪ ♪ at any minute... ...you could be a victim of fraud.
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a man claiming to have a gun holds up this gas station convenience store and demands cash. fearing for her life, the store manager pulls out a gun and shoots him. >> lord, just let me take him with me, if he's going to kill me. >> december 8th, 2004, columbus, ohio. karen smith arrives at work early in the morning at the sunoco gas station and convenience store. as manager, it's her job to get the store ready for the day's business. >> he came in and i looked at him. >> smith sits behind the counter
waiting for the man to speak. >> he stuck his hands in his pocket. he leaned on the counter. hit his fist on the counter. and says "you know what i'm here for." >> unfortunately, smith knows exactly what he means. the store has been held up many times, but this frightening experience is caught on the store's surveillance camera. >> the last ten years i was getting robbed like every month. they would come in and stick me up. i'd give them the money and they'd run out. >> smith is surprisingly calm. although she's not 100% sure the man has a gun, she doesn't take any chances. >> so i gave him everything out of the drawer. >> but this robbery isn't like the other hit and run stickups that she's experienced. this guy wants more. >> he wouldn't leave. and he asked me to come from behind the counter. i said, what for? you already got all the money.
what else do you want? >> smith braces herself for his answer, but he never gives one. frightened for her life, smith panics and makes the split-second decision to defend herself. >> i got scared, then. because i figured he was going to hurt me. i remembered the gun under the counter. so i got up like i was coming around, then i grabbed the gun, shot at him. >> smith has endured being robbed time and time again. but this time the no-nonsense store manager, who has never fired a gun in her life, shoots the man. one time, at point-blank range. >> i didn't even realize i hit him at first. because it took a minute. >> now, armed with a little more courage, smith makes sure the robber doesn't try to hurt her. >> don't move. >> i was scared. i said, hey, show me your hands
and he said, i don't have anything. >> it turns out the robber doesn't have a gun. smith is both relieved and annoyed. the robber pleads with her. >> please, don't shoot me. call 911. >> in a dramatic turn of events, it's the robber who's now afraid for his life. >> he was squirming around on the floor and i said, you weren't thinking about 911 when you was robbing me. shut up. i'll call them. >> smith keeps the gun aimed at the robber until police arrive. >> i was so relieved when they came. it was like, thank you, god, for not letting me kill this man. he didn't have no gun, but i was so terrified of him hurting me, i was like me or you, babe. >> the robber is 26-year-old desmond thompson. the bullet that hits him goes through his arm but he's able to make a full recovery. he's convicted of second degree robbery and sentenced to five
years' probation. as for smith, the franklin county sheriff's office concludes that she acted in self-defense and no charges are filed in the shooting. and while it took nerve to defend herself in the heat of the moment, it's months before she actually gets up the courage to watch the robbery on videotape. >> when i first saw it, it was weird. it just brought back bad villains for me. >> for added security, the owner of the gas station installs a new bulletproof partition in front of the counter to protect employees. smith does not want to be known for shooting someone, but she is proud that she defended herself. >> i was not going to let him hurt me. i would have did whatever i had to do. i was so terrified that he was going to hurt me. and that's why i shot him. april 4th, 1997, seattle, washington.
armed with a sword, a mentally ill man starts an 11-hour standoff with police. dressed in a black jacket, camouflage pants and dark shades, tony allison wields a samurai sword in a busy intersection. cornered, the man refuses to surrender his weapon without a fight. allison says he's possessed by the devil, and is ready to kill the demons who haunt him. >> talked about his name being apollo. he talked about satan. he talked about his brothers in russia and china. but he never really engaged the negotiator. >> the spectacle draws a crowd of onlookers and captures the attention of local news stations. they record allison brandishing his sword with no sign of letting up. during the course of the standoff, police attempt several nonlethal strategies from rubber bullets to pepper spray and mace. but nothing deters him.
after 11 hours the police try one more approach. they use a fire house to spray allison with cold water, hoping that he will lose his grip on the sword. when that doesn't work, they turn the water pressure up full blast. allison loses his balance and falls to the ground. police officers use a ladder to subdue him, then pry the sword from his hand. after the intense standoff, the man is taken to a mental hospital with minor bruises. he is not charged with a crime. coming up, surveillance cameras capture a violent attempt to hold up a convenience store. >> the video was crazy. i was shocked to see it the way it went down. >> when "caught on camera: armed and dangerous" continues.
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i'm milissa rehberger. the senate has adjourned for the day with no deal to end the government shutdown or raise the debt ceiling. harry reid says he's optimistic about progress -- progress made in talks with minority leader mitch mcconnell. former arizona congressman woman gabrielle gifford made her first visit to a gun show since surviving a shooting. they were highlighting a new york program that closely monitors gun show sales. back to "caught on camera." a brazen attack. two masked men run into a convenience store and one starts shooting. >> i was scared. i didn't know what to think. >> struggling to survive, a clerk pulls out a gun and fights back. >> they took action. they had to take it or it would
have turned out worse. >> october 8, 2011, houston, texas. the day begins quietly at the valero convenience store. a long-time customer who goes by the name cowboy makes his routine stop. >> that particular morning i came to the store to get cigarettes like i generally do. i was standing up at the cash register with the money in my hand. >> as cowboy makes his purchase, the peaceful morning turns to chaos. >> and all of a sudden i hear somebody come in and says, get on the floor. they had masks and i see the gun and that was it. went behind the beer cooler and laid down. >> the gunman reaches over the counter and shoots at both men, hitting one clerk in his leg. >> when i hear the shots, that's when i really got scared. because i figured, well you know, this is it. >> as the other clerk shields himself with the counter, a second man jumps through the glass partition and starts digging for cash.
a surveillance camera shows the gunman forcing cowboy to stay on the floor. he's scared for his life. >> what was going through my mind, hope they don't come around and shoot me. wasn't nothing i could do. they had me on the floor. >> while one of the men is searching for cash, one of the clerks grabs a handgun hidden under the counter. the surveillance footage shows him exchanging shots with the gunman. seemingly unaware that the clerk is armed, the second man keeps digging behind the counter. the clerk seizes the opportunity and fires two shots at the thief, striking him once in each arm. stunned, the masked man scurries out the door. >> the video was crazy. i was shocked to see it the way it went down. >> houston police officer john paneda is the lead investigator on the case. he's hoping the surveillance video will be helpful in
identifying the suspects. >> they had several video cameras throughout the store. you could see on the video, right off the bat, without hesitation, one starts shooting. they had one goal and that was to get what they needed at any cost. this is a good example of somebody that has no value, at all, to human life. >> the store owner is also stunned to see his employees in a fight for their lives. >> we were looking not to have two dead employees. honestly, i don't know how they survived. here is a guy shooting at them four feet apart. five, six times and missing them five, six times. their plan is shoot first, kill them and for the second robber to jump in. they thought there was a lot of money somewhere stashed. >> police don't get a solid identification from the tapes, but it turns out they have another lead. a trail of blood. >> once that suspect got shot by
the clerk, that kind of messed up their plans and they did leave on foot. well, the individual that got shot just couldn't go any more, so they didn't go too far. >> police quickly find the injured man in agony from his wounds. he's alone. his accomplice has fled. but the second suspect does not elude police for long. a few days after the incident, police arrest the other man. >> they were going to do whatever it took to get what they needed. a robber is basically a breath away from committing a homicide. >> both men are charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, and the case is still pending. >> when you get a case like this, you want to do not just the victims justice, but the community justice. because this is a community store and the community does go there to fill up their cars and buy their groceries.
it doesn't just affect the victims. it affects the community. once i finished this, i felt content that i provided my victims justice and the community justice. >> for the valero convenience store, it's back to business as usual and balo says both clerks are doing fine. >> all the neighborhood, they know us. they know me. they know my kids. they know the employees very, very well. my son still goes there every night. i feel very safe over there. just as safe as it can get anywhere else. >> as for cowboy, he's still visiting his favorite convenience store, though, now, he's a little more cautious. >> i come in here every day and i'm a little more skeptical about what goes on around me now. and i don't get out quite as early in the morning like i used to. >> as we've shown you, gas station convenience stores can be frequent targets for armed robbers, but they're hardly the only places that criminals are caught in the act. a gunman holds up a betting parlor.
but as he tries to escape, he's stopped by a customer who uses some ingenuity and some muscle to bring him down. a man enters the william hill betting parlor in leeds, england, with a large handgun and orders the clerk to hand over cash. but his getaway comes to an abrupt halt when he encounters martin richardson, a 38-year-old amateur rugby player and judo enthusiast. >> he got a real shock, i think. he was pointing at me and he said, i'm going to shoot you. >> the gunman points the pistol directly into richardson's face. undaunted, richardson reacts by picking up a chair and repeatedly whacking the guy. the gunman is no match for this burly man who refuses to back down. richardson wrestles him to the ground and subdues him until police arrive. >> i managed to get the gun out
of his hand. i kicked it away. pinned him to the floor with what i'd call a judo move. >> the assailant is 20-year-old aczar suleman and this is not the first time he has robbed a shop. he held it up twice before, as well as one other betting parlor in the area. he gets convicted of all four robberies and sentenced to six years in prison. as for richardson, he doesn't consider himself a hero, just a concerned citizen who chose to fight back. >> it's not the first time it happened. might not be the last, you know, we should be able to do what we want to do without people putting guns in our faces. coming up -- an intense police standoff. a veteran s.w.a.t team sniper takes a crucial shot. >> i put the cross-hairs on the gun and fired at the weapon. >> when "caught on camera: armed and dangerous" continues. ♪♪
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a police s.w.a.t team confronts a man armed with a loaded handgun. >> when i first arrived on the scene he was demanding that the police shoot him. >> but the intense standoff ends with an incredible shot by one of their snipers. april 15th, 2004, atlanta, georgia. a man calls 911 and in a calm voice reports a dire situation. >> yes, there's a man with a gun in the save rite parking lot. >> okay, who has the gun? >> me. >> the man on the line is 51-year-old steven gittens. he's recently divorced and homeless, and now he's armed and dangerous. >> what are you planning on doing with the gun?
>> hopefully i'm going to shoot me. >> giten tells the 911 operator that he's going to kill himself. and in his unstable condition, police are concerned he may shoot others, as well. the standoff takes place in the parking lot of a big supermarket, which draws a crowd of bystanders, as well as a local news crew. the situation is tense. mark mcgann, a clayton county detective and s.w.a.t team member responds to the 911 call along with several dozen other cops. >> i could see his face and my impression was that he was very calm and that's not unusual for someone who has decided to commit suicide. often a state of calmness comes into play because they have made their decision. >> but if gittens wants to commit suicide, why does he stage such a spectacle in a public place? >> we already knew from what he had told the 911 dispatcher that he wanted the police to shoot
him. most all police officers receive training in that phenomenon of suicide by cop. >> the officers negotiate, but gittens wants police to shoot him. >> fortunately in my career in 34 years in law enforcement, i never had to shoot someone and that was really the very first day in my entire career i was faced with that possibility. my adrenaline was up simply from that perspective. >> gittens isn't giving up. and police need to end the standoff before anyone gets hurt. mcgann and the s.w.a.t. team snipers come up with a gold -- bold plan. >> apparently the man laid the gun down once and picked it up, again. the plan as the chief formulated it was the negotiator would take the man into putting the gun down again. at that point we would try to take a shot on the weapon. >> if the plan fays, it could provoke gittens to shoot himself or fire at police. detective mcgann, armed with his mcmillan .308 caliber rifle braces himself on the back end of a pickup truck about 65 yards
away. his finger is on the trigger, and his eye is on the scope. >> you look through the scope and you feel the vision is very narrowed. i sighted on the gentleman initially although we were there to take a shot on the weapon, the possibility always existed that we would have to take a shot on the individual, depending upon what he did. >> mcgann hopes he doesn't have to shoot gittens but is ready for whatever action he's ordered to take. >> about an hour and 45 minutes into the negotiations, the chief asked if we could take a shot, how confident we felt about that. the spotter, sergeant toro turned to me and said the chief wants to know if you're 100%. and i joked to sergeant toro, i said, no tell the chief i'm 110%. >> the gun is on the hood of the truck, but gittens hovers within an arm's reach. >> at that point, i received a communication from the s.w.a.t. team commander to take a shot. >> a perfect shot.
mcgann shoots the gun right off the hood of the truck. it flies 20 feet beyond the vehicle and lands on the ground. >> i wanted to take the shot as quickly as i could. i put the cross-hairs on the gun. and understanding my weapon, i lowered the cross hairs just very slightly and fired at the weapon. what's ironic about this situation is i never heard the shot. to this day, it's amazing because i wasn't wearing ear protection and even though i was looking through the scope, i never saw the gun go off the truck. i guess you focus so much on what you're doing that you block other things out. i immediately came off the gun and saw the swath -- s.w.a.t. team members that were moving toward him, and then i realized that the shot had been successful. >> just moments after police
takes gittens into custody, a local news crew captures mcgann's reaction to his once in a lifetime shot. >> the way i fired, i fired right onto the gun so the round went into the car. there was never any chance of him being hit. i feel well about the shot. i got good equipment, i was trained well, good s.w.a.t team and we had the people here today to make the right decision. >> gittens is arrested and given a psychological evaluation. when police search his truck, they find a letter that states, i think about killing myself, but i don't seem to have the guts to do it. maybe i can get the police to shoot me and then this will all be over. gittens doesn't get his wish that day. he's convicted of reckless conduct and sentenced to three years' probation. gittens dies almost six years later. he was 56 years old. captain mcgann kept the handgun that he shot off the truck as a solemn reminder of that day. >> this is the handgun that mr. gittens had. it's a small caliber, .380.
the gun at the point i shot it was laying on the car in this position. and the round struck the weapon in the downward angle and point of impact is right here, but the bullet, after striking the handgun, went into the engine compartment of the vehicle and disintegrated. >> mcgann attributes the successful outcome of the standoff to his years of police training. >> i derive great personal satisfaction just from the fact that you work hard and keep practicing and you just develop skills that you do finally have a chance to use. you know, it came out good. coming up -- a convenience store clerk fights for his life after getting stabbed in the neck. when "caught on camera: armed and dangerous" continues.
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a store clerk fights for his life after being stabbed in the neck during a bold daytime robbery. but even after the thief gets the money, he continues his violent assault. >> he took the money and he told me to follow me, otherwise i'm going to cut your throat, again. >> august 7, 2011. daytona beach, florida. a place known for its sun, sand and international speedway, but like a lot of tourist hot spots,
there exists a seedy and dark underside. >> daytona attracts a lot of transient people, and so along with the people that want to come here and enjoy daytona, we also have the criminal element that wants to come, also, and prey on the visitors that come here. but it's not just the visitors here who fall victim to crime. >> i'm working alone here in the store and it was 3:00. everything is fine. >> an immigrant from bangladesh moves his family from new york to daytona beach to get away from the cold. but the sun and surf are no protection against what happens on that beautiful summer day at the valero gas station and convenience store. >> i was fixing the newspaper and one guy opened the door and
came right behind me and put knife here. >> udon can't believe what is happening to him. he fights back, but the knife wielding robber quickly gains the upper hand and threatens udon. >> told me, don't talk, don't move. if you move, i will cut your throat. >> holding him at knife point, the thief orders him to go behind the counter and open the cash register. the clerk tries to comply, but is so terrified that he can't do it. >> i don't know. i was scared. i was shaking, and i cannot open the register. he tried to beat me and stab me in the neck, i was totally out of mind. >> fearing for his life, he fights to pry the weapon from the thief's hand, but is unable. >> kicking me, punching me. >> as the two men continue to brawl, udon is stabbed in the neck. >> he stabbed here.
>> with the knife still pointed at him, the two men make their way back to the register. >> finally, i open the register. >> as the drawer opens, the thief takes about $500. knowing he has to act fast, udon quietly reaches for a baseball bat in the corner. the thief catches udon and then lunges at him before he can take a swing. as they continue to fight, udon drops the bat. in desperation, he grabs the back of the thief's neck with one hand and tries to push away the knife with the other. in a momentary stalemate, udon is able to pick up the bat off the floor, but the thief wrestles it away. >> he took the baseball and hit me in the head, neck, shoulder, everywhere. and he broke the counter, everything. >> even though the thief has gotten the money, he doesn't leave. he continues to fight to get the upper hand, but the clerk
resists and the two men tussle their way from behind the counter. they've been fighting off and on now for 2 1/2 minutes and continue to exchange blows. the battle finally ends when the thief bolts into the street. >> we received the call of an armed robbery, aggravated battery. the clerk was injured. he had been stabbed and was bleeding. >> police secure the surveillance video from the seven cameras installed in the store. >> after we obtained the video, we let all the news organization know that we had the video on the website and the news organizations throughout carried this on their evening news. and we started receiving phone calls. >> the release of the video quickly pays off. a suspect, charles shelling, is apprehended within three days. >> we received several tips as
to who he was and then after we got him identified, then we received another phone call telling that we could go to the 200 block in daytona and we went there and he was there and he was placed on arrest. >> shelling is shown the video and makes the surprising statement to police. >> yeah, that's me on the video. but i don't remember doing any of this. >> shelling claims he doesn't remember robbing the store or stabbing udon, because he didn't take his medication that day. but the videotape is vivid proof. >> the video is one of the best evidence, like in dna or fingerprints. >> this is not the only time shelling is caught on a surveillance camera committing a crime. earlier that same day, this surveillance video captures shelling robbing a kangaroo express store in daytona beach. >> the clerk greets him with a pleasantry and a smile and all
of a sudden the guy pulls out a knife and jumped the counter. and you could see the reaction from the clerk that she's scared. but she complies with whatever he told her. he got the money and within a couple of minutes he was out the door with the money. >> both the clerk at the kangaroo express store and udon are lucky to have survived the robberies. the doctors who treat udon tell him that if the knife had gone any deeper, it could have killed him. >> if he would have hit one of those major arteries, it would have been all over and we would have been working a homicide. >> charles shelling is convicted of robby and aggravated assault in both cases. he is sentenced to 20 years. >> the video played a really important part in solving this crime, but there's a possibility that just with the description alone, we may have caught this guy anyway. but the video helped us
tremendously. >> as for udon, he counts his blessings every day. despite the violent attack, he goes back to work at the convenience store, though his children wish he would quit. >> come on, please, don't go there. every day, can you quit the job? can you find another job? >> but udon says he won't leave any time soon. he's grateful to have this job, at least for now. >> i came back. owner, he trust me. different with the money, financial, and mental support. everything he gave me. >> being a victim of an armed robbery didn't deter udon from returning to his job and didn't deter store manager karen smith or jewelry store owner barry fixler, either. they all went back to their daily lives, knowing that when they were faced with fear, they fought back
damage on a massive scale. huge structures reduced to rubble in seconds. crashing to the ground. >> i've never seen anything like this before. it's terrifying. >> trains demolish trucks in their path. >> i was stunned. i though, what is he doing? don't take a chance like that. >> houses crumble. >> and i had never seen anything like that before. >> wow. >> a factory erupts. >> wow! >> it look like some kind of a
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