An armed robber at a convenience store in Cleveland got a nasty surprise when a pair of armed employees there turned the tables on him and held him at gunpoint until police arrived. Check out the surveillance footage above to see the entire incident unfold.
It all began on Saturday night at around 10:45 p.m. when an armed man later identified as 26-year-old Fredrick Thornton walked into Convenient Food Mart in the city’s Stockyards neighborhood wearing a surgical mask and latex gloves.
Thornton pointed his firearm at the 51-year-old employee working behind the counter and started demanding cash. According to police, he then counted to three and — becoming aggravated at the employee’s pace — started banging his gun against the register.
That’s when the tables started to turn. The noise drew the attention of another 24-year-old employee working in the back of the store, who managed to grab the store’s gun, sneak up behind Thornton and put the gun up against Thornton’s back.
Thornton quickly turned around and started fighting with the armed employee over control of the firearms. At that moment, another employee ran out from behind the counter. Unluckily for Thornton, he was also armed.
During the struggle, the second armed employee took away Thornton’s gun and fired warning shots into the ceiling. That was enough to get Thornton to put his hands in the air and ask the employees not to shoot him.
The armed employees called 911 and held Thornton at gunpoint. While they waited for police to arrive, one of the employees went outside to see if Thornton had any accomplices with him, which he didn’t.
Police got to the scene and put Thornton in handcuffs. He’s been charged with aggravated robbery.
As it turns out, Thornton is believed to be responsible for another robbery on nearby Clark Avenue that went down shortly before the attempted convenience store holdup. A woman who witnessed that incident called 911 and gave a description that matched Thornton.
Haytham Mustafa, the owner of the convenience store, praised his employees for the way they handled the situation.
“Thank God no one was hurt,” he said. “They really handled it well. They didn’t go overboard and didn’t hurt anyone. That’s what we wanted to do– hold him and let the law deal with him.”