In another recent example of the out-of-control proliferation of firearms in America, a shopper was robbed of his assault-style rifle — at gunpoint — outside a food store in the St. Louis area.
The shopper then retrieved a second gun from his parked vehicle and opened fire on the robber last week in Wellston, Missouri, according to a police statement. The robber was shot multiple times, and two bystanders were injured in the shootout.
The unidentified shopper had been carrying an AR-15 assault-style weapon in a gun sleeve beneath an article of clothing, Maj. Ron Martin of the North County Police Cooperative told WSDK-TV in St. Louis. Openly carrying firearms is legal in the state.
As the gun owner stepped outside after his purchases, a man held a pistol to the back of his head and demanded the rifle, according to police.
After giving up his weapon, the victim went to his vehicle to grab another gun and then opened fire.
The robber, who was seen using both the rifle and his handgun, was initially listed in critical condition last week. Two bystanders, both women, who had just pulled up to the market, were also shot, according to a police statement. Their injuries were not life-threatening, police said.
The owner of the rifle fled.
A 31-year-old man accused of stealing the rifle has since been charged with armed criminal action, first-degree robbery and two counts each of unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm, KSDK reported. His cash-only bond was set at $500,000.
The food market was also the scene of a fatal shooting of a police officer in 2019.