A 2:45 am on Wednesday, two men decided to “make a run for the border” to a late night Taco Bell in Cleveland, Ohio. But it wasn’t fast Mexican food they were craving, it was cold hard cash.
The masked men entered the restaurant with guns drawn, demanding employees get on the ground as they headed toward the cash register.
But what the two armed robbers did not count on was that this wouldn’t be a fair firefight. Three of the employees were packing heat! They quickly took out their handguns and shot at the intruders. One of the gunmen got away, but the other, 24-year-old De’Carlo Jackson, was hit 6 times and died of his injuries while still clutching his loaded weapon.
No charges have been filed against the employees as they were acting in self-defense and it was unclear what this particular Taco Bell franchise’s gun policy was.
Jonathan Witmer-Rich, Associate Professor at Cleveland Marshall College of Law, told News 5 Cleveland: “Whatever the corporate rules are, in terms of a criminal prosecution, they all have a right to act in self-defense if they reasonably believe they’re facing a threat of imminent death or bodily harm.”
He added, “The company running the place may have a policy about whether they want their employees armed or not armed. People are entitled to defend themselves under the law, and if they use deadly force that’s legally justified.”
Those three quick-thinking employees saved themselves and others – who knows what could have happened. Just last year a customer was shot and killed during a robbery attempt at a Taco Bell in another greater Cleveland area location.
Last December a gunman forced employees into a freezer at a Taco Bell in Fairborn, Ohio. No one was hurt, but it brings to mind two separate deadly armed robberies in the early 1990s when Taco Bell employees were taken into the freezer and shot or stabbed.
Better to be safe than sorry. These employees did the right thing and now armed robbers will think twice before hitting another Taco Bell again.
What do you think – should restaurant employees be allowed to carry guns? Tell us in the comments below!