Armed Bystander Stops Home Depot Tire Iron Attack

armed citizen stops assault at home depot

Amarillo, Tex. police released this photo of one suspect, Ricky Solis, 35, who was held at gunpoint by a Good Samaritan until police arrived. Solis and the second suspect who fled the scene were assaulting a Home Depot loss prevention officer. (Photo: 7 News/Potter County Sheriff’s Office)

A man stopped two men assaulting a security guard in the parking lot of a Home Depot hardware store in Texas. Armed with a pistol, the man held one of the two men at gunpoint until police arrived. The other man was able to flee the scene.

The Home Depot called the local Amarillo, Tex. police about a robbery, but before they were able to get to the hardware store things had already turned from bad to worse, reports local ABC affiliate 7 News.

The police confirmed suspect Ricky Solis, 35, took power tools from the store without paying for them. A Home Depot loss prevention officer approached Solis in the parking lot, who tried to make a run for it.

The guard caught Solis and a fight broke out between the two when a second suspect arrived to help Solis. The second man kicked the guard in the face then went back to his car to get a tire iron.

That’s when help arrived: an armed citizen. Drawing his pistol on the two assailants, he ordered them to get on the ground. The second suspect turned away, got back into his vehicle and fled, but not Solis, who was taken into police custody as soon as they arrived.

Police haven’t released the Good Samaritan’s name but said he kept Solis on the ground at gunpoint while the loss prevention officer used his own cuffs to detain him. No shots were fired and no other people were harmed.

The security guard suffered light injuries that did not need medical attention. The property was returned to the store, and the Amarillo police are still on the lookout for the second suspect who remains at large.

This is a reminder that private, and even public security forces are not always adequate and that no security is faster than personal security.

“This is hardly the first incident at Amarillo, Tex. Home Depot stores,” writes Bearing Arms. “Police arrested Brett Austin Leake after he stole merchandise and fought back against the loss prevention officer who tried to detain him”

“Police were again called to the Georgia St. store when Clifford Wayne Clardy was caught stealing merchandise and began to fight the loss prevention officer who confronted him.”

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • JoeUSooner April 15, 2016, 12:04 pm

    In this situation, the second bad guy had already demonstrated a belligerent intent and ability to arm himself (he retrieved a tire iron), and he had already engaged in a violent-felony attack (kicking the guard’s face, in a two-on-one disparity of force), so shooting the bad guy would have been perfectly and entirely justified. [In that scenario, I would absolutely have taken the shot. To protect myself, and anyone else there… including the vulnerable – victimized – security guard.]

    At that point where “The second suspect turned away, got back into his vehicle…” the armed licensee (the good guy) had no way of knowing if the “second suspect” (the bad guy) was really preparing to flee, or was actually trying to obtain yet another weapon (likely a gun). Waiting to “see” which option the bad guy chose meant giving the bad guy time to act… in which he might (and the reasonable/rational indication was that he was indeed highly-likely to) fire through the vehicle’s rear glass… in which people (including me) could get very dead, very quickly.

    The licensee did not fire his weapon in this instance. And, luckily, the second suspect drove away, rather than escalating the fight. Happy ending, this time. But that good guy took a horribly dangerous chance that I would not be willing to (and my family would not want me to) gamble on.

    • C Jensen April 16, 2016, 11:46 am

      Very well said!

    • Bob April 17, 2016, 8:26 am

      I totally disagree with your point of view Joe. When the good Samaritan drew his weapon the situation was deescalated. The coward got into his vehicle and fled leaving his felon buddy behind. No more force was necessary than drawing his weapon to stop the assault. This was clearly reasonable use of force and he should be commended for his actions..

      Did you want him to shoot the fleeing coward in the back as he ran to his vehicle?? How would that be justified use of force?? Because he might be going to his vehicle for a gun??? Sorry the law doesn’t work that way Joe. The good guy would have been charged. Just because a good guy carries a gun doesn’t mean he has to fire the weapon if he runs into a situation like this one.

      • Erik April 18, 2016, 11:15 am

        Yes, and unfortunately Officer Joe is probably a “no regard for life, shoot first ask questions later, everyone is a liar and a scumbag”, police officer. His thought processes are, “why use my baton, my stun-gun, or pepper spray when I can just shoot and kill the guy? I praise the Samaritan for using good, old fashioned common sense and sound judgement with how he diffused the situation and managed to capture at least one, who will ultimately provide information leading to the arrest of the other.

        And no, not all police misuse their power. There are good ones out there.

  • Jake April 15, 2016, 11:54 am

    I worked Loss Prevention for many years and got into many many fights over $20 worth of whatever. Anyone who says that its not worth it is just plain ignorant. The “greedy Home Depot” is there to make a profit. If you don’t understand that, or don’t like it, then move to Russia and talk all the shit you want about a free market economy. Alternatively, if Russia wont take you, then I urge you to stop doing business with all greedy corporations and businesses in the USA that are there to make a profit. Good luck with that. The next time you go to the grocery store to spend your government welfare check, and as your stand there in the cereal isle debating over the 200 choices that you have for breakfast cereal, and then the 100 choices of bread that you have, you can be in bliss because your ignorant brain has no idea how good you have it. There is no greater country in the world than the USA and I can say this because I have traveled the world and have seen the alternatives. Anyone who knocks this country and our economic system has NOT traveled outside of the country, I guaranty you.

    • Penrod April 15, 2016, 1:56 pm

      Thumbs up!

    • Erik April 18, 2016, 11:01 am

      So well said, Jake. Could not agree with you more. Put him in a country (there are many) where raw sewage runs in the street and the trash can in you home is the whatever window you’re standing by, and I’m sure he’d experience a paradigm shift.

  • Larry April 15, 2016, 10:02 am

    Good thing that this didn’t happen in the Northern Marianas Islands!

  • wake_Up_America April 15, 2016, 7:00 am

    Those loss prevention guys are nuts to go out after criminals and for what, that greedy corporation know as Home Depot hahahaha yeah right, NEVER and for what $10 stinking an hour…

    • dirtsailor67 April 15, 2016, 8:16 am

      wake_Up_America – Are you really that ignorant? The Loss Prevention Officers are there for a reason.
      Why would you disparage a person just because of their line of work? I, personally, have held security jobs and most of the time was joined by other veterans in the same line of work.
      The story is about a good Samaritan who stepped in to help a fellow citizen who was in trouble, plain and simple.
      Kudos to the gentleman for keeping a level head and not firing off any rounds. It is stories like this that help promote the responsible use and necessity of carrying a firearm.
      Thanks go out to the security officer, knowing that there was a chance of personal injury as it had already happened to others in the area, for still facing these criminals down.

    • Jerry Herndon April 15, 2016, 9:46 am

      At least the guy is out there earning a living and not on the government tit. If that Home Depot store keeps having inventory loss due to theft, they might decide they don’t need this guy and he does go on the government tit at that point. My hats off to this contributig to society gentleman. And you mr self righteous snob need the ability to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys.

    • Froggieonthehill April 15, 2016, 10:25 am

      wake_Up_America
      Your post sounds exactly like what a leftist would say and do which is blame someone else but never blame the criminal because it is never the criminals fault
      No wonder this country is just a shadow of its former days when freedom, accountability and a handshake on a deal meant something

    • pete April 15, 2016, 11:28 am

      Wake up is right – a power tool is not worth it and Home Depot pays peanuts to their people so not nearly enough to put themselves in harms way. They’re lucky to have such a brave employee, but the proper thing to do is observe and report, not try to apprehend outside the store. Why create a deadly situation over a little theft like that? And don’t say its the principle of the matter!

      • Parkerized April 15, 2016, 12:53 pm

        That’s the beauty of democracy. You decide what you will do and for whom you will work. “Worth” is subjective. In this case HD decided what it was worth to have security. The security guard agreed with the price paid. He also decided to risk his life for his job. I respect his decision and his right to decide for himself.

        The only bad guy in this situation is the bad guy. He deserves what he gets. He does not respect himself, the HD, the security guard, or the rule of law. Hang him.

        I can’t believe righteous gun owners lean to the left with Bernie…

      • Bob April 17, 2016, 8:36 am

        Pete did you at anytime ever work as a loss prevention officer for Home Depot? I’m guessing not. Therefore you have no clue about what the proper procedure is for a loss prevention officer who works at Home Depot.

        Who the hell are you to criticize this man for doing his job? By your logic the Home Depot employee putting away stock on the shelves shouldn’t perform his duties either if the items are heavy because Home Depot only pays him peanuts and it just isn’t worth the risk of getting injured.

        I’m guessing at one time you made a purchase at Home Depot and were not satisfied with the product so you bash Home Depot every chance you get. Stay on point with your comments. The story is about an armed citizen coming to the aide of a good employee who was assaulted while trying to do his job.

    • Rouge1 April 15, 2016, 12:41 pm

      Hey wakeup spoke like a true demacrat commie loser. Go Bernie.

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