Never Bring a Knife to a Gunfight: Armed Minimart Owner Sends Robber Packing

Tan Ho demonstrates how he chased away a would-be robber earlier this week. (Photo: Screenshot KXLY)

Washington mini-mart owner Tan Ho has been robbed before, so when a man entered his business last Tuesday demanding money, he didn’t hesitate to take action.

“He said, ‘Give me money!’, and then I knew exactly what to do,” Ho told KLXY. The store owner was behind the cash register, where he keeps what appears to be an IWI Jericho 941 and a machete.

“I pulled out my gun – like this – and I pointed it right at him, and he ran.”

The suspect knew he’d gotten more than he bargained for, and he left the store in a matter of seconds. Police are still looking for the man, who they believe is around 5’5″ and was last seen wearing a black hoodie and white pants. Ho said his face was covered, and he couldn’t identify his race.

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Ho keeps his handgun in a leather thumb-snap holster attached to the counter. The report doesn’t mention whether he keeps a round in the chamber, but in the surveillance footage, he appears to be trying to rack the slide.

The mini-mart owner told KLXY this isn’t the first time he’s had to scare away a would-be robber. Last year a similar situation occurred with a similar result: the man ran without any money.

Ho has good reason to take every precaution to protect his business. A recent FBI study found that Spokane is the third most dangerous city in the United States in terms of property crime.

Armed self-defense got more difficult for Washington gun owners earlier this month, however, with the passage of I-1639. The measure bans the sale of semiautomatic rifles to adults under the age of 21, creates a registry of gun owners,  and allows the state to charge a $25 fee on the sale of “assault rifles.”

The law will also make it more difficult for people like Tan Ho to protect themselves and their businesses. It establishes a 10-day waiting period for certain purchases and holds gun owners liable for failing to secure firearms.

This last requirement could prohibit the mini-mart owner from keeping his handgun in such an accessible location.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Wesley October 25, 2019, 10:35 am

    It looks like he may have been trying to take the safety off since he reached clear over to the left side. (At least I hope that’s what he was doing, and if it was he needs a heck of a lot more practice/firing time) With this pistol the manual thumb safety (up for safe and down for fire) is mounted on the left side of the frame and allows for either “Condition One”—cocked and locked—carry, or traditional double-action/single-action operation.

  • Alan May 17, 2019, 10:26 am

    So now every criminal with a TV knows where he keeps his weapons…you need to be smarter than that!

  • Terry November 27, 2018, 2:22 pm

    Please take it upon yourself to locate and contact that store owner and the reporter[s], and educate them about the need to keep firearms properly loaded and ‘ready’ for use, and the need for real training in its safe use and storage. The reporter[s] should be chastised for disclosing the location of the firearm to future criminals.

    • Alan May 17, 2019, 10:32 am

      Amen to that! I am more and more convinced, stupid people should not own guns! And there seems to be a hell of a lot of stupid people!

  • BRASS November 25, 2018, 1:46 pm

    A. Tactical error to let anyone know what you keep where if your life depends on it. That makes him a target for ambush by multiple attackers primarily after the gun.

    B. The gun is useless if it isn’t ready to fire at all times. Keeping a round in the chamber is what any professional trainer will teach. If YOU don’t feel safe with a round in the chamber, YOU’RE the problem and need more training.

    Hesitation kills.

  • Otto Kiehl November 24, 2018, 10:18 am

    Robbery is NOT a property crime.

  • Mike in a Truck November 23, 2018, 10:26 am

    Mr Ho-keep your weapon on your person at all times.With a round chambered.Crimminals unfortunately can read and now know they can get the drop on you.The next one might be armed.Oh- and screw your commie pols.

  • Larry W Morrison November 23, 2018, 8:18 am

    I find it very irresponsible for the original News Report to Describe Exactly How and WHERE Mr. Ho keeps his firearm….And even more irresponsible for the Writer Here (you should know better) to pass along this information.

    • Peter Brown November 24, 2018, 1:29 pm

      My thoughts mirrored yours. The “reporter” struggles to scratch out a living in a growing competitive business, a slowing dying snewspaper. If someone is damaged as a result of his “reporting”, well, that’s the cost of free pre$$.
      Lastly, spokane is a liberal cesspool; an anti-2nd Amendment tool is not a surprise.

  • Dr Motown November 23, 2018, 7:11 am

    Keep a round chambered please….fumbling around to rack your slide can be disastrous for you. Also, don’t show folks where your weapon is hidden

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