Store Clerk on Dead Robber: He made a ‘very, very poor decision in a state like NC, where everyone has guns’

Malik Harris, 18, attempted to rob the NC Tobacco store in Greensboro, North Carolina late last month.  An armed citizen stopped Harris in the act, fatally shooting him, WFMY 2 repots.   

The incident happened sometime in the morning before 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29th.  Harris entered the store armed with a handgun and quickly started making demands, according to store clerk Adil Khawaja.

“There were three or four customers in the store. And the guy came in and put the gun on all the customers, made everyone come [behind the counter] at gunpoint,” Khawaja explained.  

An elderly lady walked in during the holdup and Harris quickly confronted her.  

“He grabbed her by the neck, brought her back [behind the counter] at gunpoint,” with the rest of the customers, Khawaja said.

While Harris was dealing with the woman, one of the customer who was already behind the counter retrieved his own firearm.  That’s when the situation turned deadly for the teen robber.  

“[The customer] shot him four or five times,” said Khawaja. “It happened like in 45 seconds. Like 30 to 45 seconds.”

Though multiple shots were fired, Harris was only hit once.  But that’s all it took.  First responders rushed him to a local hospital but he would not survive the injury.  

SEE ALSO: New Legal Tech May Shed Light on the Meaning of ‘Keep and Bear Arms’

Khawaja felt bad for Harris, but also pointed out the misguided nature of his plan.  That is to say, armed robbery in a state with permissive carry laws and a well-armed citizenry.    

“I wish it could have ended up differently,” said Khawaja. “Personally, I don’t want to see an 18-year-old kid die. He didn’t even start his life yet. That was just a very, very poor decision in a state like North Carolina, where everyone has guns.”

Meanwhile, Greensboro Police say an investigation is still ongoing.  

It’s not clear at this point if the citizen who shot Harris was a concealed carry permit holder.  If he (or she) was, then it seems based on the available facts that it’s a clear-cut case of self-defense. If the individual did not have a valid permit, he or she may face charges for carrying unlawfully.

To obtain a permit in NC, one must complete a firearms training course and be at least 21 years of age.  

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

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Brian March 8, 2020, 3:35 pm

    “One of the customer”? I hear broadcast media dropping plurals a lot lately. Is there a memo now saying to do that in writing? Or is it by imitation?

  • Rick March 7, 2020, 8:31 pm

    If the man who shot the kid was open carrying, he has no trouble because North Carolina is a open carry state. You do not need a permit to carry openly in the state of North Carolina.

  • Michael J March 7, 2020, 3:19 pm

    Essentially a concealed permit to carry is really a permit to defend ones self. The government wants you to lay down and die if you don’t have a permit. Tough luck.

  • Mikial March 6, 2020, 10:23 pm

    The crook should have driven a few hours to Maryland or New York where the Liberal Democrat governments don’t allow law abiding citizens to carry guns to protect themselves from murderers and criminals. Then he could have robbed and terrorized defenseless victims all he wanted to.

  • Devin K Noffsinger March 6, 2020, 2:30 pm

    This is readily solved, the store is private property. As the shooting apparently occurred in the building, the owner can say he allows his patrons to be armed.
    When the owner of a privately owned property allows visitors on and inside their premises
    to be armed, a concealed carry permit is not required so long as they are on such property.
    Leave the property and concealed carry permit will be required for continued concealed carry.

  • The Bearded Pretender March 6, 2020, 11:42 am

    “Though multiple shots were fired, Harris was only hit once.”

    This Guy was reckless and shouldn’t have been carrying a firearm.
    His Spray and Pray method could have easily killed others.
    Train and carry and then train some more.
    He had plenty of time to prepare for the shoot when the POS grabbed the Old Lady by the neck, no excuse for
    shooting up the place and not having all bullets on target.

    • Bunker Hill March 6, 2020, 1:46 pm

      Geez, shoulda, woulda, coulda! The guy stopped the threat and most likely saved lives. That’s a win-win. Demanding that he should’ve been unarmed, and speculating about all the bad things that COULD have happened (which clearly they didn’t) is Monday morning armchair quarterbacking nonsense of the first order. You have zero clue what specific circumstances or elements he was dealing with at the time. May you be judged equally as harsh should you ever have the opportunity to exercise your skills under dire life-and-death circumstances.

    • Matthew McGaughey March 6, 2020, 3:33 pm

      you don’t know that you’re an idiot all of the customers were behind the counter which means the only person that wasn’t was the bad guy he was firing at the bad guy which is to say not have anybody else in the store. He saved their life and that man’s money.

    • Dave Emery March 6, 2020, 4:24 pm

      You have no idea of what you are talking about. I’m sure you’ve been in many actual shootings too.

    • Grifhunter March 6, 2020, 9:13 pm

      Training is over rated. Read the self defense reports in the American Rifleman and other gun sites. Half the people using guns successfully to defend themselves are only casual gun owners.

      Hitting with one out of four shots ain’t bad. Perp probably dropped like a bag of rocks and the hero was on auto pilot.

    • Trevor_Phillips March 6, 2020, 9:27 pm

      Oh STFU

    • Richard March 7, 2020, 3:46 pm

      Give everybody a break..regardless, he was in the right place at the right time. Who knows if the 18 year old may have gone on a shooting spree and killed everyone there. In time of critical crisis, are you going to take the time to evaluate every circumstance in the split moments you have to make a decision? I’m sure James Bond would but most people wouldn’t.

    • Rick March 7, 2020, 8:32 pm

      How many people have you needed to shoot under a high pressure situation? Even police officers from very short distances often miss while in a firefight. Your comments leave me to believe that you have little knowledge of actual use of firearms.

    • Jeffrey R. Hardin March 7, 2020, 11:44 pm

      I criminal vs 6 Trained Police Officers with 100s of rounds fired off before taking down suspect.

      Your he shoulda coulda falls short when some one is firing back at ya…

    • Dogman March 10, 2020, 11:50 am

      I certainly know what part of a woman’s body you got that beard from.

    • Alan March 12, 2020, 11:03 am

      Your statement is perhaps one of the most ignorant I have heard in a long time. You obviously have little or no knowledge of firearms and a gunfight.

  • Bob March 6, 2020, 10:08 am

    “It’s not clear at this point if the citizen who shot Harris was a concealed carry permit holder. If he (or she) was, then it seems based on the available facts that it’s a clear-cut case of self-defense. If the individual did not have a valid permit, he or she may face charges for carrying unlawfully.”

    Seriously, if this individual did not have a conceal/carry permit and is not a convicted felon, any prosecutor who would issue any charge including violation of conceal/carry laws should be run out of office and the town. Hats off to this hero who couldn’t initially use his weapon but remained calm and cool enough to seize the opportunity when it was presented and terminate the threat appropriately. He should be honored as the hero he truly is!!

  • G.O.A. Patriot March 6, 2020, 10:05 am

    The author doesn’t know NC gun laws very well! The only time a permit is required is for concealed carry but open carry has been legal here long before concealed carry became a thing. That being said, anyone in the store carrying openly would’ve been the perpetrators FIRST target and is the exact reason I got my concealed carry permit long ago!

  • Carbine Williams March 6, 2020, 9:54 am

    I love a happy ending to a story as this.Play stupid games,pay the price

  • Terry Constance March 6, 2020, 8:35 am

    The supreme court should block and immediately throw out each case any State trys to prosecute someone for defending theirself or others from harm per constitutional authority. Permit not required to defend lives….. period.

  • Ozark Muleskinner March 6, 2020, 7:39 am

    “It’s not clear at this point if the citizen who shot Harris was a concealed carry permit holder. If he (or she) was, then it seems based on the available facts that it’s a clear-cut case of self-defense. If the individual did not have a valid permit, he or she may face charges for carrying unlawfully.” – Excerpt from Article

    So, unless one follows all government-imposed ‘Mother, may I’ rules, one cannot defend their life and a would-be killer can act with impunity? That is just plain wrong!

    This case shows clearly why permitless Constitutional Carry is the ONLY acceptable interpretation of the Constitution suitable for a free people. The RIGHT to “keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” – PERIOD!

    • G.O.A. Patriot March 6, 2020, 10:10 am

      I”m absolutely in full agreement with your statement!!!

      • Dale H March 6, 2020, 1:22 pm

        I agree 100%!!!

  • Thomas Jefferson March 6, 2020, 7:29 am

    “If the individual did not have a valid permit, he or she may face charges for carrying unlawfully.” Hmmm, seems to me everyone has a valid permit, it’s called a GOD-GIVEN, UNALIENABLE, INHERENT & NATURAL RIGHT, which is expounded upon in the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution (Bill of Rights.)
    OH, yeah, that’s right, I forgot. The 2nd amendment actually says…”A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed, except to obtain a permit in NC, one must complete a firearms training course and be at least 21 years of age.” Stupid me for thinking it said something else.

  • michael March 6, 2020, 7:08 am

    So the HERO may be charged because he doesn’t have the states permission ? Shall not be infringed. Stick your permission where the sun doesn’t shine. Now they want to give you permission for a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT.

  • Fal Phil March 6, 2020, 5:03 am

    Play stupid games. Win stupid prizes.

  • Jimmy Carter March 6, 2020, 5:02 am

    I think that the word “Permissive” is the wrong word. “Permissive” is used to describe a parent or someone who is not properly disciplining and guide a child growing up resulting in bratty behavior.

    I think that this would me a more appropriate way to describe NC carry laws.

    “That is to say, armed robbery in a state with concealed carry laws and a well-armed citizenry where citizens can defend themselves and others can end badly for them such as in this case.”

  • Mike in a Truck March 6, 2020, 4:44 am

    There is one demographic here in N.C. that commits more crimes than any other.But we are not allowed to point that out as they are members of the protected class.Still there are politicians and bureaucrats that would render the common citizens defenseless in the face of all that. Every day,every friggen day/ night it’s the same demographic that causes the majority of crimes in the WinstonSalem/ Geensboro area.

    • Phil March 6, 2020, 7:11 am

      R u saying knee grows?

      • Charles March 7, 2020, 7:19 am

        The cure for an out of control demographic when they come for you is to give them a taste of some element 82.

  • Dr. Strangelove March 6, 2020, 4:26 am

    Another perp makes a fatal mistake in the victim selection process, earning a full Darwin Award.

  • Walt March 5, 2020, 2:18 pm

    You play, you pay.

    • ron March 6, 2020, 4:33 am

      Finally, an incident where the vicious criminal isn’t the only one with a gun.

      • ron March 6, 2020, 4:34 am

        And, note the last paragraph – cops and prosecutors are slobbering at the mouth to jack up the guy who saved the day…

        • Godfrey Daniel March 6, 2020, 11:03 am

          Absolutely. How dare you defend yourself or someone else.

        • Stan d. Upnow March 6, 2020, 2:53 pm

          I am Far less afraid of criminals than I am of the corrupt Legal system! You can deal with the criminals appropriately, but the Legal apparatus of the state is always either looking to make money anywhere they can(fines), or for prosecutors to spruce-up their resumes by convicting someone, ANYONE, to “successfully” close a case.

    • No doubt March 6, 2020, 6:24 am

      Well Said!!!

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