A Robbery Gone Wrong We Can Believe In

Jay F. writes:

Regarding your criticism of the phrase, “a robbery gone wrong,” perhaps this is an acceptable example of the phrase:

Pizza Delivery Turns Deadly As Robber, 18, Shot By Police
Tennessean (Nashville) July 26, 2008

The caller ordered a pepperoni pizza and waited in the shadows with an air pistol.

Tyrell Chandler Wortham fudged on the address and accepted the quoted price from the Pizza Hut employee when he called in the order at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday.

It was his fatal mistake.

The deliveryman was really Officer Josh Walters, who was participating in an undercover sting operation to curb the robberies of pizza deliverymen—which has become an occupational hazard. A string of at least four robberies in two weeks against deliverymen prompted the sting.

When Walters arrived at 143 Noel Cove Circle in Hermitage, Wortham leaped out, pointing the air gun at him. But it looked like a semiautomatic and Walters fired three shots.

Wortham, 18, of 729 Netherlands Drive in Hermitage, dropped and died. [cont.]

While Hermitage was once a working-class, white suburb built on property once owned by Andrew Jackson, it has lately become an area with significant crime problems. The reason? Nashville has razed many of its inner-city public housing projects and sent those residents, with housing vouchers in hand, to this once quiet, peaceful and safe neighborhood.

- end of initial entry -

Paul K. writes:

All stories such as the one sent by Jay F. are gratifying, but the man who really knew how to make a robbery go right was Lance Thomas. Thomas owned a small watch store in Santa Monica and between 1989 and 1992 was involved in four separate gunfights with armed robbers. Thomas killed five robbers and severely wounded one. As far as I know, this record goes unsurpassed by an American civilian.

One robbery began when a robber thrust a pistol into Thomas’s neck and, glancing toward a nearby weapon, said, “Don’t reach for it—I’ll kill you.”

Thomas grabbed his gun and was shot through the neck. The robber then hesitated for a second, assuming he had finished his prey—a fatal mistake. Thomas finished him with eight bullets.

A TV reporter who interviewed Thomas asked him to explain his action: “He said, ‘Don’t do anything or I’ll kill you’—so why do anything? I mean, you reached for your gun. If you hadn’t reached for your gun, maybe you wouldn’t have gotten shot. Maybe he would have gotten a few of your watches, but it would have been over.”

“It would’ve been up to him, wouldn’t it?” responded Thomas quietly.

Some people would understand what Thomas meant by that and some would not. It’s not about survival. It’s about honor, about refusing to be cowed by threats or reduced to the status of a victim.

The last two robbers Thomas killed were Crips, and the gang threatened to do a drive-by on his store. Also, the police told Thomas that in the event of another shooting he would have to be indicted, due to political pressure from the “community.” (Everyone who had attempted to rob him had been black.) Thomas closed his shop and now sells watches over the Internet.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 31, 2008 08:17 PM | Send

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