A 26-year-old suspect embarked on a “violent crime spree” targeting multiple convenience stores in St. Charles, Missouri, on Saturday when he was abruptly stopped by an armed law-abiding citizen, Fox News reports.
The robbery suspect, who was fatally wounded during the incident, has been identified by KSDK 5 News as Lance Bush from St. Louis City.
Investigators believe Bush may have been involved in two other armed robberies that day.
As for the citizen responder, he spoke to KSDK 5 News about the events of that day on the condition that his identity would not be revealed.
“He grabbed a backpack and ran inside, looking for I guess the clerk. I saw him grab her and drag her to the front to the counter, something wasn’t right when I saw that, so me being concealed carry [sic], I had my gun on me and I just waited,” he said.
“I walked up to the door and I saw him with a knife to her throat. She was emptying out the cash register and I took a step in and peeked my head in to ask if everything was okay. I couldn’t see his face but he was saying ‘yes,’ but I could see her face she was saying no, she was scared,” he continued.
“I pulled my gun up and I asked him are you sure everything’s okay and that’s when the suspect said, ‘No it’s not okay, but I got something for you,” and he grabbed his bag, ran from around the counter and started running towards me and that’s when I fired shots.
“I don’t think I honestly had a choice. He already had a knife at her throat, he could’ve pulled out something bigger than what I had then you would’ve had two people dead instead of one,” he explained.
The victim remembers firing four shots at the suspect. The suspect was transported to the hospital and died from his wounds.
In the wake of the shooting, News 4 spoke with a Missouri criminal defense attorney regarding how the law can protect those who act in self-defense of themselves and others.
Stroescu explained that Missouri is a Stand Your Ground State and that, a person’s use of force could be justified in defending others. It depends on the facts.
While it seems unlikely given the known facts of the case, the St. Charles prosecutor’s office is still deciding whether it will file criminal charges against the citizen responder.
Stay tuned for updates.