Stars and Stripes
A man who said he was a Marine Corps veteran is being heralded in Yuma, Ariz., for his quick reaction in disarming a would-be robber Wednesday at a gas station convenience store, according to the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office.
James Kilcer’s heroics were captured in eight seconds of surveillance footage that show him standing with his back to the store’s front door as two masked men — one with a handgun and another with a bag — enter the store. The armed robber immediately pointed the gun directly at Kilcer, who turned around to see the two men.
The armed robber then turned the gun toward the cashier. That’s when Kilcer quickly acted, grabbing the handgun. He then wrestled the robber to the ground and out of the camera’s view.
“The customer was able to detain the suspect he disarmed until law enforcement arrived,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement late Wednesday. “No injuries reported from any of the victims.”
The unarmed robber and a third person not seen in the video escaped before police arrived.
When deputies later asked Kilcer how he was able to take control of the situation, he said: “The Marine Corps taught me not to [mess] around,” according to police.
The incident happened at about 4:30 a.m. at a Chevron gas station, police said. An investigation is underway.
The armed robber is a minor who was booked into the Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center on charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault, according to police.
On Tuesday, Kilcer was awarded the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office Citizen’s Valor Award for his heroism.
The award was given “for extraordinary heroism and exceptional courage while voluntarily coming to the aid of another citizen during an incident involving criminal activity at extreme, life threatening, personal risk in an attempt to save or protect human life,” authorities said.
Kilcer chose to make a political statement with his attire while receiving the award -which went seemingly unnoticed by local reporters.
His shirt featured the phrase, “Let’s go Brandon” -a reference to President Biden.
The phrase was coined when chants of “F*&% Joe Biden” at numerous sporting events were confused with “Let’s go Brandon.”
USMCLIFE updated this article from the original version published by Stars and Stripes on Oct. 21.
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