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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — He had a gun pulled on him and was asked to fork over the cash, but this Wilmington store clerk did the complete opposite. Mark Headstrong has become something of a local celebrity since shooting a would-be robber last week, and he says business at the store is changing as well.

Headstrong says people have been coming in to the Wrightsville Country Store just to give him praise and congratulations for his quick thinking and gunwork. His new found fame is even bringing in more business.

It’s Tuesday afternoon and business at the Wrightsville Country Store is steady. Customers coming in and out, many wanting to meet the man who shot would-be robber Joseph Anderson.

“A lot of shaking hands a lot of hugs, a lot of signatures, autographs, pictures with customers,” Headstrong said of his new found fame.

Besides those handshakes and pictures, people are showing their admiration for store clerk Headstrong’s actions in the form of sales.

“We got increase in business because people want to see me, so I’m glad that’s taking care of business,” he said.

Headstrong has even received letters and notes from fans and customers. Rhonda Mason, a regular, left Headstrong a note when she came in earlier this week and didn’t find her favorite clerk.

“I just wrote on the back of the receipt, ‘Where are you? I’m worried about you. I hope you’re OK,'” Mason said.

But that’s not all. Headstorng has also gotten a couple of phone calls from fans who cannot come to the store.

“Ex-Marines, veterans. They call me from their house and say, ‘Mark, we cannot walk, but we are proud of you. What you did is… us, we would do the same. You are our hero,'” he said.

With everyone calling Headstrong a hero, the clerk is humbled by his new found fame. He hopes his actions will inspire others to stand up for themselves.

“It’s very impressing for me ’cause I did something that they would like to do themselves, you know. So now I give guts for everybody to do the same if they were in a situation like this,” Headstrong said.

Many of you have also commented our website about Headstrong’s accuracy with the gun. We asked him if he is thinking about doing some target practice. Headstrong says he doesn’t plan to, seeing that it was so easy when he shot the robber last week.

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13 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Clerk who shot robber a hero to many"

2015 years 10 months ago

This man has my admiration and respect, but most of all, my sincere THANKS! Thanks for taking this thug off the streets for at least a little while. HE’LL BE BACK, but until then, we can all rest a little easier.

2015 years 10 months ago

…but doubtful! Criminals and brains are a rare combination. Regarding all of the comments on Headstrongs accuracy, some of those were in humor, some were from the big, brave people that shoot other humans everyday (yeah..right). Being in a spot like that is extremely stressful, especially given the fact Headstrong had never shot that pistol before. Even trained police officers have an average fire/hit ratio of only 18% at 3 feet when engaged. In addition to the stress, most civilians without a military background are not mentally prepared to shoot another human between the eyes and watch him die and will tend to avoid that. Headstrong clearly aimed his firearm where he wanted to shoot and he achieved his goal, more than most of you could accomplish. I keep a loaded fieram with me virtually everywhere I go. I pray that I never have to break it out…but I will.

deputy 25
2015 years 10 months ago

really. i say reload and fight for what is right. if our justice system had any teeth to it the next time wouldn’t happen!!! but if it does, this thug brought it on and if he reloads, then bring it on i say and lets do what the bleeding heart court system and law makers will not do!!!

Lay Low
2015 years 10 months ago

with Mr. Headstrong’s actions, my advice would be for him to lay low on this issue. He may have met all the legal rules for a legal self-defense shooting, (all the elements are certainly there) but the more he talks about it, the more some fool friend of the guy he shot is likely to want to step up and prove something.

I also understand why he is a hero to many. I’m glad this worked out for him, the store and the family. I see why folks want to shake his hand and tell him what a great job he did, but he probably should seek some counseling (for psychological trauma) and just move on with his life.

Next time and I hope there never is for him, if he really fears for his life, center mass and double tap.

Off The Cuff
2015 years 10 months ago

Yes, this happens to a lot of shooters. In the effort of drawing and firing under stress, a good deal of shooters will snap the trigger before completely on target. Even LEO’s have had it happen to them when drawing from a holster and such.

Good work!!!

2015 years 10 months ago

He doesn’t need target practice. He just pulled the trigger too quickly as he was raising the gun!

2015 years 10 months ago

It is quite common that armed robbers kill cooperative store clerks simply because there isn’t enough money in the register or out of spite.

The greatest weapons a store clerk has are his power of observation and the ability to respond immediately as needed. This guy took the correct course of action. The “cooperate at all costs” school of thought has banks handing over millions every year to robbers that aren’t even armed.

As long as we cower and quake in the face of crime, criminals will run roughshod over society. If we start killing them every single time it is justified, every honest, law-abiding member of society will be better off.

Mike T
2015 years 10 months ago

Before we go way to far with this > Let’s consider how this action might encourage other store clerks to follow this path to resist against robbers. I am so thankful that Mr. Headstrong is unharmed for his actions. His stance is noble yet foolish. I am not convinced the robber had shooting in mine since he had the advantage and did nothing when he saw the table turning. A good ending in this matter by no means should suggest that this type of action would always come out positive. I dont think store clerks make enough money to respond in this manner, I know bank tellers don’t. All these wild west self protection advocates should tame the retoric and consider that they are going to get some bystander or store clerk Killed.

Jack B.
2015 years 10 months ago

I think you did the right thing. I would however, recommend getting some target practice in.

Good luck sir.

2015 years 10 months ago

Amen, Common.

richard roberts
2015 years 10 months ago

The lesson is if you want to pursue a life of crime you might get SHOT!!

2015 years 10 months ago

just a few years the guy on like 9h street or somehting like that was shot twice in the chest after he gave the guy every dollar he had in the store. I bet no one tries to rob his store ever again. Also 5-6 years ago mile or so down the road from this store a man was shot dead clsoeing the old bp up. You cant trust a crimnal aint gonna shoot ya after you do what they say.

2015 years 10 months ago

The only downside I see to this is now the bad guys know the clerk is armed and if they are determined to rob him, they might come in shooting or do so before he knows what is coming down.


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