A San Francisco Bay Area convenience store clerk shot and killed an armed robber in a shootout following a violent struggle that was caught on surveillance video over the weekend. The clerk said his military experience helped him stay calm and survive.
The two masked men entered the store in the community of Bay Point Sunday night, with one holding Mark Kasprowicz at gunpoint while the other went behind the counter and pistol-whipped the clerk, Kasprowicz and the store’s owner said.
Surveillance video shows one of the men shoving Kasprowicz to the floor and striking him with one hand while grabbing cash from the register with his other hand.
When one of the two assailants put a box with cash on the floor, Kasprowicz was bleeding from his the head but quickly reached for a gun in a drawer next to the register. The assailant then pistol-whipped Kasprowicz and tried to open fire, but his gun appeared to jam.
The images show both assailants running from the store and Kasprowicz getting up from behind the counter and getting into a shootout with one of them. Kasprowicz said he fired one shot.
One of the assailants collapsed and died about a half block from the store and the other man got away, the store’s owner, Kamal Sandhu, told KGO-TV.
Kasprowicz, 56 and an Air Force veteran, told reporters Monday that he received 12 stitches in his head at a hospital.
His military training and experience as a private security guard helped him stay calm, Kasprowicz said. He said he fired just one shot.
“Instinct just kicked in,” Kasprowicz said. “Fear and adrenaline kicked in together. I’m lucky to be alive.”
Kastrowitz said the experience will not prevent him from doing his job and he will return to work after he recovers.
The name of the suspect who died was being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin, the Contra Costa County Coroner’s office said. Sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee confirmed an incident happened in Bay Point, but did not release further details.