October 16, 2013

NH gas clerk fired for pulling gun on robber

Station owner instructs employees to “give thieves what they ask for.”

The Associated Press

NASHUA, N.H. – A New Hampshire gas station clerk who thwarted an attempted robbery by pulling out a handgun was fired because company policy prohibits staff from carrying firearms.

click image to enlarge

In this Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 photo, Shannon Cothran poses for a photograph with his .380 Ruger handgun in Nashua, N.H. The gas station clerk thwarted an attempted robbery early Monday morning by pulling out his handgun, but was fired hours later for violating a company policy prohibiting staff from carrying firearms on the job.

AP Photo/The Telegraph, Don Himsel

Shannon “Bear” Cothran told the Telegraph of Nashua e was working at a Shell station in Nashua early Monday when a man approached him with a knife. Police confirmed that the would-be robber fled after the clerk pulled out a gun.

Cothran said he then filed a report with Nouria Energy Corp., which owns the station, and was fired hours later even though the store manager and a district manager lobbied to save his job.

Nouria said in a statement Wednesday that it instructs its cashiers to give thieves what they ask for during a robbery attempt to resolve the conflict peacefully and quickly.

“Make no mistake: We care about the personal well-being of employees like Mr. Cothran, whose years of service are truly appreciated – not about the money in the cash register. So, we are especially grateful that this situation was resolved without injury,” the statement said. “We do respect the constitutional right to bear arms. However, we believe the best way to keep our employees and customers safe is to prohibit weapons in the workplace.”

The company said its policies are similar to others in the industry and consistent with the advice offered by police.

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