Vietnam Vet Suspended From His Job After Using Firearm to Defend Himself From Armed Robber

June 17 2014
by GSL Staff
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Incident at a Glance
Gun(s) Used: , Location:
# of Suspects: Shots Fired:
Suspect Killed: State:
Source: Archive:


We’re seeing it more and more, businesses are afraid to allow their employees to defend themselves for fear of some sort of liability. This case out of Vermont seems to continue that trend.

According to local media reports, a store clerk in Rutland, Vermont was working at Mac’s Convenience Store when a mean wearing a mask and wielding a 5 inch knife entered the store and demanded money.

Instead of money, the clerk, a Vietnam Veteran, drew his concealed .380 handgun, which he was already holding behind his back as the would be armed robber made his way to the counter.

According to The Rutland Herald,

“I knew his intentions as soon as he came in,” Pitaniello said. “When he told me to empty the register, I cocked my head and said ‘Really?’”

At that point, the clerk said the man picked up the knife and “waved it in my face.”

Pitaniello said he responded by raising his gun and pointing it at the other man’s face.

“I told him he better get the (expletive) out of there,” he said.

Without a word, the intruder fled the store on foot and Pitaniello said he followed far enough to see the man running west on North Street.

Pitaniello is currently suspended from his job for violating the store’s policy on firearms at work. However, he doesn’t regret what he did,

“That store has been robbed eight or nine times and I always work nights,” he said. I’m a firm believer in having a gun and not needing it rather than the other way around. I can always find a new job.”

I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Pitaniello. I’m pretty sure another job as a clerk will be easy enough to find. Recovering from stab wounds is a much trickier proposition.

The suspect in the attempted robbery remains at large.

This is the 4th defensive gun use we’ve documented in the state Vermont and the 1,177th defensive gun use we’ve documented overall.

This incident is the most common type of defensive gun use. That is, one in which no shots were fired and no one was hurt. Despite this being the most common type of defensive gun use, these incidents are often not included in statistics about defensive gun uses. Many of these statistics and studies focus solely on justifiable homicides.

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