A Phoenix woman has been arrested for aggravated assault after she shot a store employee while trying to stop a robbery in progress.
The incident took place at an Ace Hardware Store on Saturday around 9:15 in the morning, according to police.
Nya Reyes, 45, was walking her dog near the store when she spotted two people running from the store being chased by store employees. In one version of events reported by ABC 15 Arizona, Reyes saw one of the alleged suspects get into a blue sedan and begin driving away. Then, the other alleged suspect hopped in while the car was moving.
Reyes fired at least two “stop shots” toward the vehicle in an attempt to disable it, according to court documents.
The vehicle drove away and was gone before the police arrived.
At least one of Reyes’ shots had hit an Ace employee in the knee. He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
In another version of events reported several days later by 3TV/CBS 5, the second “suspect” was actually another store employee. That person did not get into the sedan and drive away but was instead hit by Reyes’ bullet.
Reyes stayed on the scene and willingly disabled her firearm when police arrived, according to ABC 15. Along with aggravated assault, the woman is facing a charge of discharging a weapon within city limits. She was released on a $25,000 bond and is expected to be in court on February 8th, according to 12 News.
The shoplifting suspect is still at large.
This isn’t the first time a concealed carrier has unsuccessfully tried to stop a robber’s getaway car. Last year, a pastor in Eugene Oregon named Aaron Taylor was cited by police after he tried to stop a robbery suspect by shooting at the tires of his car.
No one was injured, but as we wrote at the time, firing at a moving vehicle is almost never a good idea:
Firing at a rapidly moving rubber wheel also presents serious safety concerns, both for the concealed carry holder and bystanders. Bullet trajectory can be unpredictable, and a ricocheting projectile (or piece of a projectile) could easily injure anyone standing around the vehicle—even assuming a shot could be placed on the tire.
Incidents like this also provide fodder for anti-gun activists looking to outlaw concealed carry nationwide. Despite the fact that no conclusive evidence exists to prove a relationship between concealed carry laws and accidental gun-related injuries and deaths, media outlets frequently report on accidental shootings as a way to castigate gun owners.
Bloomberg News, for example, published an article in 2014 titled, “Americans Who Carry Concealed Weapons Keep Accidentally Shooting Themselves in Public Bathrooms,” and Buzzfeed followed up in 2018 with a similar article, “These Good Guys With Guns Accidentally Shot Their Friends And Family Members.”
For the good of the gun rights movement, concealed carries would be wise to keep their firearms concealed unless they find themselves in immediate danger of injury or death.