Robber’s fake gun no match for store clerk’s real gun

Police in Springfield, Massachusetts, arrested a man Wednesday who tried to rob a local convenience store with a fake firearm after the clerk used his real gun to thwart the suspect and detain him until officers arrived on scene.

While the clerk was doing work behind the counter, 20-year-old Fernell Pelzer ran into the store along with other two other men. Pelzer confronted the clerk and tried pistol-whipping him with his fake firearm.

“They put it on my mouth, and I actually have a little cut on my lip,” the clerk told ABC40. “They were over to my right so I fought them off a little bit and got time to reach for my firearm.”

Once Pelzer pulled his lawfully owned handgun, the three men fled bumbling and stumbling out the door. The clerk, who asked not to be identified, grabbed Pelzer off the ground and held him at gunpoint until police arrived.

“He tell me please don’t shoot him,” said the clerk. “I said I’m not going to shoot you. I’m just waiting for the cops to get here and that’s what I did.”

Although he was alarmed by the whole ordeal, the clerk was pleased he didn’t have to use deadly force.

“I’m happy to see that I didn’t get hurt and I didn’t intend to hurt him either,” said the clerk. “Wish I knew what his intentions. Right now I’m happy the way it ended up.”

Police charged Pelzer with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon along with armed robbery. He now faces 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Rich. June 16, 2017, 9:30 am

    I always thought when you use your weapon, your supposed to shoot until the threat was no longer a threat. The clerk said he had no intention of shooting the robber, then why carry a gun. The clerk said he had no idea what the robber was going to do. Hello clerk, it was obvious he was going to rob , mame, possibly kill you, he shoved the gun ( toy gun ) in your mouth. If it was me, I would have shot that mother fucker until he was no longer a threat.

  • Mark Timblin February 19, 2016, 10:27 am

    Didn’t see the video, for some reason it didn’t load when I clicked on the link. Then again this was almost 2 years ago too. The lame stream media has tried to brainwash us for years by stating, give them the money, or should have given them the keys and all would be well…..BULLSHIT!!

    If you have the legal right to carry a concealed weapon and don’t, or you’re on the fence and maybe carry for a while and then gee this pistol is heavy, I gotta keep it concealed, I don’t think I’m gonna carry it. Until the next time a situation unfolds near to you, or could be on the other side of your city or town, you get scared and start carrying again. Meanwhile, you haven’t been to the range since you bought your pistol, you don’t practice handling drills at home when its unloaded. Then when the shit hits you are so totally unprepared for an incident…like this person, totally ill prepared for what went down, as others have stated, he’s damn lucky he’s alive.

  • shootbrownelk September 23, 2014, 8:46 am

    How much do you want to bet that a “Public Defender” (Taxpayer dollars) will plea-bargain the charges down so this thug & his accomplices do little if any time in prison, on our dime of course. This corrupt legal system we have is a “Revolving Door” for criminals like these. I’d sure like to see their “Rap Sheets”. I’m sure these dudes have a long and lengthy list of crimes they commited….and before that, a “Sealed” Juvenile list of run-ins with law enforcement. The clerk should have done the taxpayers a service by shooting every last one of the Punks.

  • Russ September 23, 2014, 3:55 am

    The store clerk should be more diligent at his dangerous job.
    They got too close.
    He should have drawn his weapon on their approach.
    He wasn’t ready and didn’t know that gun was a fake.
    He didn’t seem like an gun expert with a quick eye for reality.
    He got real lucky and seems scared of retaliation by his comments.
    Good thing he’s not dead.

  • DEFENDER September 22, 2014, 6:12 pm

    All it takes to for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.

  • Joe McHugh September 22, 2014, 1:51 pm

    The thugs threatened to use deadly force if the clerk did not give them money. That the “gun” was a harmless model gun doesn’t matter. I’ve seen model handguns that were indistinguishable from the real things. As far as the clerk knew this was a life or death issue. How many times have we seen videos of store robberies showing the robber killing the clerk AFTER he got the money? No witness, no problem.
    That criminal was lucky he survived the encounter. By the way, after that criminal gets out of prison, I’m betting he will use a real gun and probably kill the clerk. Does anyone still believe that prisons “correct” criminals?
    Solution? Metal detectors at the doors, especially at the stores that operate at night in “problem” neighborhoods. The alarm will give the clerk a chance to get to the gun. I’m also pretty sure that there are retail stores that have one way mirrors behind the walls so that employees can see a robbery in progress. Call 911 and grab the shotgun that you trained with, in the hope that you can keep the clerk alive. It’s a sad thing that we have arrived at a choice between 6 pallbearers or 12 jurors but that’s the world that some of us live in.

  • Rynno September 22, 2014, 11:54 am

    I scrolled down to comment on this article and was happy to see that my words had already been published by 4 other Americans.
    The reporter is a fool, and a coward, much like the rest. The store owner, well his first spotlight i suppose. Probably so accustomed to playing the race card, he could not speak to his genuine thoughts about the incident.

  • Diego Blanchard September 22, 2014, 9:07 am

    The commentator says “JUST TO GET BY” No idiot, To buy drugs or what have you. Do you really think that these guys were robbing a store for food? Rent? Gas? COME ON!

  • Mr Hardpressed September 22, 2014, 7:57 am

    The RIGHT thing to do is stand up against evil. For ex, Do we just roll over and let ISIS take over or fight it? Do we just let them murder innocent people? Do you just let evil come in and behead children? What is wrong with our country? Bunch of pussies, and so is our President.!

    • Meeester Paul September 22, 2014, 9:44 am

      You make a point that reminds me of a technique I’ve suggested to my daughter’s friends. When in doubt or conflicted about which side of an issue to support take each side to their extreme. Which extreme seems absurd? Perhaps the alternative makes for sense. For example, should we give ISIS people plane tickets and visas to come here and let them cut off the heads of anyone they want? Or, should we kill them?
      Gee… choices are tough.

      • Jack September 23, 2014, 9:21 am

        By having an open Southern Border that is what our U.S. Government it giving ISIS and any other terrorist!
        Obama, his cabinet officials and any individual that supports illegal immigration should be charged with treason against the American Citizens!

        • Russ September 23, 2014, 12:30 pm

          I’m down here in So. CA jack.
          They’re coming right on through.
          Expect something to happen in our socialist gun free zones.
          LA and SF, maybe even show up at Disneyland.
          I’m waiting for that day when the terrorist finally figure out how to light the whole state on fire.
          Spread 100 terrorist across the state and simultaneously light a match on a Santa Ana wind day.
          I really feel unsafe and am beginning to hate it here.

  • Rattlerjake September 22, 2014, 6:14 am

    Notice the last statement that the reporter makes, “Police warn that the safest thing to do … is hand over the money without a fight”. This is how the media helps brainwash people into giving in and believing that it is just better to let criminals have their way. I’d rather die fighting to protect myself and my property than allow some thug free reign!

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