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FIRST ON 3: Clerk makes good on promise to defend store, shoots would-be robber

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: Clerk makes good on promise to defend store, shoots would-be robber

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A would-be armed robber got a taste of his own medicine today when the convenience store clerk pulled out a gun of his own. After being held up last month, the clerk vowed to protect himself and be prepared for future threats.

The Wrightsville Country Store is no stranger to robberies. In fact, this is the third time this year that someone has walked through the doors demanding cash. But this time, the robber didn't walk out.

"I felt sorry for him," clerk Mark Headstrong said of the man who tried to rob him Thursday morning. "If he had dropped the gun I wouldn't have shot him, but he did not."

Headstrong shot the man twice: once in the leg and again in his hand. It was the first time Headstrong had ever fired a gun.

"Half a foot between me and him. Face to face, so I have to protect myself," Headstrong said.

Headstrong called 911, and the robber was taken to the hospital. He says he realized he needed a gun the last time the store was robbed.

"A month ago, I had Spider here," he said.

A man wearing a Spider-Man mask held up the store in October, stealing cash and cigarettes. When we spoke to Headstrong in the days after that robbery, he swore that things were going to change.

"I have now heavier tools, I would say," Headstrong told WWAY October 17. "If they would do that they are going to be shot or we get shot I don't know how to express this, somebody is going to be hurt."

The store's owner believes in protecting all of his employees and gave Headstrong the gun. He's glad the robber was stopped, but wished for a different ending.

"I wish he had dropped him dead, but he just gave him a second chance," Musa Agil said. "You cannot give these guys a second chance, because they would not give you a second chance."

Both Headstrong and Agil hope this failed hold-up is a warning to any future robbers.

"Never again," Agil said. "Never."

"Everybody in gas stations, they have guns if anybody try to rob somebody," Headstrong said. "They should think before they do it."

No word yet on who the robber is or the extent of his injuries.

Forest Hills Elementary School was on lockdown for a short time after the robbery as a precaution.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Where is it?

Where is this store? I thought I knew but couldn't find it today. I need some gas. . .

Now he needs to be extra vigilant

Next time there will be more than one of them, and they will probably come in shooting since they know he is armed. They'll only think twice if they know they will be killed. That didn't happen, so there's no fear and they will be better prepared next time.

Nice shootin' Tex!

I bet now the local criminals will think twice before robbing this store. Either that or a robber will just walk in, shoot the clerk without warning, them empty the cash register...

Even at that.... won't be safe for the criminal. There is no guarantee that the clerk will not get a shot off and kill the robber. Handgun bullets cause instantaneous incapacitation under very limited circumstances. They are very good at killing a person, but not necessarily very good at preventing him from killing you, too.

The clerk's behavior is to be commended and is long overdue. We need to stand up to crime and kill criminals whenever they present themselves.

punks with guns

moe should get his employees shotguns that way they will always hit their target.all you punks come on over to the masonboro country store
moe owns that one to.


Sad story! Although I don't like to think of someone having to be shot, this thug lost his option for leniency when he walked into the store with a gun pointed. No family member has posted anything about him - how he is a good boy and didn't mean no harm,, but I beg to differ. When he walked into that store with a gun aimed at the clerk, he gave up his right to expect to walk away with the money and no harm done. Perhaps this painful lesson will teach him something and he will come out of it with a different attitude, but if history shows anything, probably not. A thug is a thug and will always be a thug until he turns his life around.

As you can see, the citizens of Wilmington are fed up with the thugs creating havoc and trying to take what is not theirs. Now they are arming themselves and you criminals better beware. Just remember - that store you walk into that has a woman or little old man or lady behind the counter - may not be as easy to take as you think. Grandma may be packing!!!!!!!!

That's what he gets for

That's what he gets for trying to rob the working man! My main issue is that these idiots have no balls (which is obvious by his bullet wounds) Guess what? You could have robbed a bank, not got shot, and had 100 times more money! IDIOT, hopefully he gets some infection and dies we need to rid the world of stupid people!

Great job taking another

Great job taking another criminal off the streets. My gas money will be spent at your pumps next time I'm in your area.

Well done, Mr. Headstrong.

Well done, Mr. Headstrong.

Kill or be killed..

If that guy would have pulled a gun on me he would not have left that store alive. That guy is going to do his time, get out of jail, and when he gets out rob again. I just hope the next guy he robs finishes the job...

Someone needs to tell the clerk that...

critical mass is not the feet or legs. Still...nice that he shot the perp!

Meh, he just pulled the

Meh, he just pulled the trigger a bit too soon.

True. but hey the guy had

True. but hey the guy had never shot a gun before, took some guts for sure just to pull it. Maybe the guy will at least have a permanent limp.

Will have to stop in the

Will have to stop in the next time I'm in town. Good job fellas.

As a former Marine and cop,

As a former Marine and cop, I say job well done. I will go out of my way to visit your store and buy a snack.


Dittos to Headstrong! Should have made sure he took a dirt nap. The rest of you thugs be on notice from me...I carry a Glock 27 Austria 40 cal. with an extended grip packing 9 wad cutters. I won't worry about saving any of them on you either!

Back off I’ll take you on
Headstrong to take on anyone
I know that you are wrong
Headstrong we’re headstrong
Back off I’ll take you on
Headstrong to take on anyone
I know that you are wrong and this is not where you belong
I can’t give everything away
I won’t give everything away
-from Trapt

Wad Cutters??

Dude, put some real loads in that gun. Hornady Critical Defense should do the job nicely.

might want to try. . .

. . . hollow points. One shot should take care of it.

I wonder

If it turns out to be a felon in possession of a stolen firearm.

Armed robberies need additional mandatory jail time.

Felony larceny of a firearm should also carry some hard time.
No plea bargains with these crooks.

The "suspect" will try again in the future.

Kudos to the store clerk, but people should understand that it can happen in a parking lot, restaurant, any public place that firearms are not allowed.

Beware.... the folks in my

Beware.... the folks in my concealed carry class were of all ages, male and female. The common folks are tired of being victims of thugs like these.

Now, that's how it's supposed to be done!!!

Eventually, if the criminals can stop being so impulsive and they realize that people nowadays have the ability to shoot back, they will stop trying to rob people.

Not only convenience store clerks, but everday citizens on the sidewalk as well!!! Beware criminals, times are changing, so are we!


dang gar az mark done got

dang gar az mark done got sum heart lmao. I used 2 work there n they was always getting robbed.

Try again

Try posting your nugget of knowledge once you sober up.

Is it me?

Something tells me he is not drunk.


With that sort of "writing", I'm surprised you ever got a job anywhere! I still don't understand what you "said".


If only more businesses would take the same stance as the Wrightsville County Store. Criminals, you are being put on notice. We are mad as hell and we are not going to take your crap anymore.


i'm proud of these guys (trigger puller & the owner). I think we should all go to this store to just buy something, even if its small. I believe in supporting the "shoot backers"!

Now, THAT'S Real Gun control

Hitting your target.

Any other form of Gun Control only makes it safer to be a bad guy.

More guns = less crime. Everytime


Robber REALLY should have listened! Maybe this will be a deterrent to future robbers. Glad the clerk is OK, don't care about the condition of the robber - sorry!


A gut shot to put them down. Then a head shot to put them down forever.

Growing up in the country, I was taught never to point a gun at anyone I did not intend to kill. That is still valid today. Point a gun at me- you better have fast reflexes. I do.