Store Clerk Suspended Two Weeks for Shooting Armed Robber

A convenience store clerk in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been suspended for two weeks after she used a firearm to defend herself during an armed robbery.

Check out all of articles in the Fall edition of Long Range Shooting, GunsAmerica’s newest specialty publication.

Jennifer Wertz told KOAT 7 that armed robberies occur frequently in that area of Albuquerque, and she usually carries a gun while walking to her car alone at night.

After hearing that a 7/11 down the street had just been robbed, Wertz put her gun in her pocket. Soon after a man entered the Circle K convenience store with a handgun and demanded the money from the cash register.

Though Wertz says she wasn’t behind the counter when the man barged in, he soon directed his demands—and the muzzle of his weapon—at her.

“He pointed the gun at my face, I grabbed my gun from my pocket, I cocked it and I shot,” Wertz said.

Though Wertz may have saved her life and that of her co-workers, her actions broke company policy.

“We are not to chase or provoke. We are just supposed to stand there and give them what they want and they leave,” she said.

But on Monday she decided she wouldn’t be a victim any longer.

“I’m sick and tired of being a sitting duck,” Wertz concluded.

Jennifer Wertz is tired of being a “sitting duck.” (Photo: KRQE/Youtube)

Police said the would-be robber—a 23-year-old named Ferron Mendez—was shot in the torso but is expected to survive. He’ll be charged once he is released from the hospital, though he does not have a prior criminal record in New Mexico.

According to the Center for Problem Oriented Policing (CPOP), “Convenience store employees suffer from high rates of workplace homicide, second only to taxicab drivers.” If they survive the experience, robbery victims can also suffer psychological and emotional trauma.

The CPOP notes that, as Wertz indicated, convenience stores have high rates of “repeat victimization.” If a robber is successful, he or she may try the same store again or tell other robbers about the store. If the store fails to implement new safety measures, that location may be robbed on a regular basis.

Store employees can use a variety of tactics to discourage robbers before the situation ever gets violent. One strategy—known as “putting the robber on stage”—has employees greet customers and establishing eye contact with everyone who enters the building.

One comprehensive study of convenience store robberies concludes that “the behavior of clerks may be the most significant factor in determining the extent of injury that results during these robberies.”

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • B E Smith October 3, 2017, 5:24 pm

    Instead of suspending her for two weeks, Circle K should give this woman a two-week PAID VACATION, a raise, and a promotion! She did the right thing; but she needs to work on her aim (the perp survived).

  • elgavilansegoviano October 1, 2017, 2:25 pm

    …..She should have been given a Bonus and a raise!!,…..

  • Alan October 1, 2017, 11:29 am

    Thanks to bull-shit corporate policies like this that have emboldened criminals in this country. She should be given a raise for protecting their interest as well as protecting the lives of others.

    I used to work for a privately owned grocery store chain; the policy was to prosecute all shop lifters. Then the company went corporate. The last time I and a coworker busted a shoplifter, we were reprimanded and told not to confront shoplifters! Now people are being told by corporations they cannot protect themselves.

  • Gary September 29, 2017, 2:34 pm

    It shouldn’t be a suspension. It should be paid time off to recuperate from the stresses of defending oneself. Businesses that set their employees as targets, should not complain when their employees exercise their right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. If a business wants to punish its employees for this, customers should take their business elsewhere!

  • Dennis Orr September 29, 2017, 2:17 pm

    I could offer another factor; when the clerk proactively resists a robber, that may trigger future attacks by other thugs looking for “payback”. It could also trigger retaliation, overtly or covertly by the arrested or wounded robber. If the robber is killed, it may result in “get even” action by the robber’s family and friends.
    As we have been reading, the thugs are brutally active; and I would suggest that the media not publicize these encounters. Publicity may lead to retaliation focused on the defender.

    • Godfrey Daniel September 29, 2017, 4:28 pm

      Shoulda, coulda, woulda… There also have been murders of clerks AFTER giving perps what they want so no witnesses. Your argument is just another “what if”.

    • J.Vena September 29, 2017, 7:00 pm

      Maybe after the young lady bagged up the money and next week’s groceries, she could have dropped to her knees and serviced the dirtball, Dennis Orr.

      These so called thugs are just a bunch of hopped up punks with a gun that meet no rhyme or need no reason to murder, rape, rob or cause serious bodily harm to every lamb they meet.

      And even though you maybe only worrying the dirtball, Dennis Orr, the victim in this case will have to re-live that horror of having a gun pointed at her head and in her face every day and every night

      So I applaud this youg lady for protecting herself from serious harm and death.

      And be sure that everyone I know will NOT BE PATRONIZING, who I hope is her former employer. But I do hope her former employer is picking up the counseling bills necessay with the psychologist/psychiatrist she’ll need after such a traumatic incident.

      Best of luck Jennifer !!!

    • Steve September 29, 2017, 8:26 pm

      Some people are willing to be sheep. Some the wolf. Others the sheep dog

    • Bill October 1, 2017, 9:39 am

      You sir are a wussy. Let them do it to you. Youre the kind they like. You probably would offer them your wallet as well. Maybe tell them to take something to eat in case they dont have a mommy or daddy at home to cook for them. Maybe you tell them about counseling. Why dont you just give them your home address?
      You seem like someone who would be so paralyzed by fear you would give them anything they wanted including your own damned life.

  • Dan September 29, 2017, 2:00 pm

    I think that the point is that the attempted robber had not been arrested yet for any crime – NOT THAT HE HAD NOT COMMITTED THEM!
    Ms. Wertz deserves a bonus, not a suspension! Maybe we should push for companies to be responsible for the safety of their employees – that would help.

    • Monroe September 29, 2017, 8:17 pm

      Well, usually Police Departments don’t charge a person who is hospitalized until after treatment to avoid incurring any medical bills while the perp is being treated. But, they will usually have an office stand by in case he is released or tries to leave.

  • Godfrey Daniel September 29, 2017, 11:55 am

    I wonder what the store/company would have to say to her family if they had carried her out in a body bag?

    • Charlie September 30, 2017, 7:24 pm

      They would say, “oh, sorry, its our policy not not harm potential murderers trying to turn their lives around. “

      • Bill October 1, 2017, 9:43 am

        EGG F^$@##G ZACKLY

  • skipNclair September 29, 2017, 11:51 am

    Great job young lady, I for one will never walk into a circle K again and wish others would do the same,

  • Chester Dow III September 29, 2017, 11:46 am

    I don’t believe there are any circle K’s in Texas; but if there was I would boycott their sorry asses.

  • bjg September 29, 2017, 11:25 am

    Good for Her, hope She gets a better higher paying job. As for Circle K, “go to Hell”

    • Russ September 29, 2017, 11:46 am

      Exactly, they obviously don’t care about their employees protecting themselves. How pathetic is that.

  • shooter September 29, 2017, 11:24 am

    The article is incorrect…she was fired.

  • John Stanton September 29, 2017, 10:54 am

    The only logical reason for the store policy is that it doesn’t want lawsuits filed by the crooks. If it prohibits its employees carrying gun on the store premise, then it has the defense of the employee acting outside the scope of her employment. Of course trying to convince an armed robber not to shoot you is a pathetic defense, but the only one offered by the employer.

  • Big Bob September 29, 2017, 10:36 am

    I hope she spends her time off looking for another job!

  • Abner T September 29, 2017, 9:13 am

    I was pretty surprised when I read the story. This is a convenience store in the southwestern U.S. (not the west coast idiots, but the American southwest). Guns are a part of the culture. The right to defend yourself still stands there. I was wondering why Circle K would deny any employee to defend him/herself. So I looked up their corporate office.

    THEY’RE A BUNCH OF FRIGGIN’ FRENCH CANADIANS! Their name shouldn’t be Couche-Tard, it should be RE-Tard!
    Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
    4204 Industriel Blvd.
    Laval (Quebec) H7L 0E3
    Phone : (450) 662-6632 or (800) 361-2612
    Fax : (450) 662-6633

  • joefoam September 29, 2017, 9:05 am

    So… you have to clock out, shoot the scumbag, then clock back in so that your weren’t technically an employee at the time of the shooting. If the store is robbed on a regular basis, why hasn’t the ownership provided security for the employees?

  • John Rieske September 29, 2017, 8:09 am

    Another store that I shall no longer be a customer.

  • Bob Redman September 29, 2017, 8:02 am

    “her actions broke company policy.”

    Fk the company.

    • Jimbob3 September 29, 2017, 8:54 am

      If the company does not provide armed guards. They should not have a problem with their employees arming themselves.

  • Infidel762x51 September 29, 2017, 8:00 am

    It’s a real shame. That the scumbag survived that is.

  • Jay September 29, 2017, 7:35 am

    I for one am glad that citizens like her exist! We all need to be brave enough to stand up for our rights, even when it’s against the powers that be, even on the job!

  • Dutch Workman September 29, 2017, 7:35 am

    for some reason the reporter had to mention that there was no prior arrests I’ll bet there won’t be any subsequent arrests either

  • SuperG September 26, 2017, 10:44 am

    If a store is robbed on a regular basis, we should not place all the blame on the store owner, but also lax socialist laws that let the criminals roam free. I’m glad she stood up for herself. More and more of these robbers are not leaving witnesses around to testify against them. Arm up and stand up people. The life you save will most likely be your own.

  • Garnett Stancil September 26, 2017, 10:44 am

    She should be given a two week vacation with pay!

    • Mike S September 29, 2017, 7:26 am

      A bonus, then a month’s paid trauma leave.

    • Guido September 29, 2017, 9:22 am

      Hello
      And some stock options, although their stock may be losing value in the near future. At least if my patronage counts for anything.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend