A man patronizing a 7-Eleven convenience store in Virginia Beach, Virginia has been hailed as a good guy with a gun after shooting two suspects that were attempting to rob the establishment.
According to a CBS 6 report, the customer killed one of the suspects and critically injured the other during the attempted robbery early Thursday morning. Both suspects were also armed during the incident.
Police said the customer, who was already in the store when the robbery started, was legally armed and had a concealed carry permit.
“Investigators learned that the two males had entered the 7-Eleven and were attempting to commit an armed robbery of the store clerks,” a Virginia Beach Police spokesperson told CBS 6. “Another citizen, who was already in the store and in possession of a legal weapon, confronted and ultimately shot the suspects.”
One of the suspects died in the shooting, while the second is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. A third suspect was also found near the store and also arrested, police say.
A couple who were in the store at the time of the robbery called the customer a “hero,” telling News 3 that they were at the counter when the armed men barged into the store and ordered them not to move before attempting to rob the business.
Police believe the suspects may have been involved in the robbery of a different 7-Eleven earlier that evening. Both incidents are still under investigation.
The good guy with a gun argument
Proponents of gun control have long lobbied for stricter restrictions on concealed carry laws. Some even favor the abolition of the practice altogether.
On the other hand, gun rights advocates argue that the Second Amendment grants Americans a constitutional right to self-defense using firearms. Supporters of gun rights point to the numerous examples of defensive use firearms to argue that lives can be saved when a licensed gun owner is allowed to carry their firearm.
According to one study published by the The National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, guns are used in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times per year in the United States.
“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008,” the study’s authors note.