A 2018 convenience store robbery and hostage situation in Arizona was turned on its head after a brave customer led a retaliation effort against the gunman, confronting him and seizing his weapon.
As ABC15 reports, the incident started when an armed man entered the store and shot and killed a customer, taking the others hostage.
New camera footage, released just this week, reveals the dramatic moment the customer, who was among seven others being held hostage inside a Circle K in Phoenix, Arizona, confronted the gunman, wrestling him to the ground and seized his gun. The other hostages quickly jumped in and beat the gunman before fleeing the store.
SWAT later arrived on the scene, no further hostages were injured.
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Surveillance footage released by Arizona prosecutors shows several customers taken hostage tackle and disarm a gunman who had fatally shot someone inside a Circle K, with the group fleeing before a standoff that ended with officers shooting the suspect. https://t.co/tkpfYCXswk pic.twitter.com/3QtsTqgJWS
— ABC News (@ABC) August 1, 2019
According to the report, the shooter attempted to shoot and kill the other customers but his gun malfunctioned several times.
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Police say 53-year-old Joel McClain Carson entered the Circle K near 19th Avenue and Grant Street on May 9, 2018. In surveillance video, he can be seen deliberately walking up to a customer waiting in line and shooting him in the back of the head.
The victim was 24-year-old Efran Hernandez,who was a father of two. He died at the scene before paramedics could get him to a hospital.
Carson reportedly tried to shoot several other customers and employees in the store, but his .22-caliber handgun malfunctioned. Investigators say Carson had recently stolen the gun.
Detectives wrote that the revolver misfired eight times and every single bullet “had been struck with the firing pin, however, the bullets did not go off due to the cylinder being out of alignment.”
The misfiring almost certainly saved lives, as Carson can be seen desperately pulling at the trigger when he was rushed by the hostages, taken to the ground and disarmed.
ABC15 also reports SWAT arrived at the scene, entered, and shot the assailant before he was apprehended and arrested on “multiple charges including first-degree murder, nine counts of kidnapping, possession of a weapon by a prohibited person and eight counts of aggravated assault.”
The assailant later told law enforcement officers that he “wanted police to kill him.”