York County, Va. – The man dubbed the “fake-beard bandit” has hit more than 30 businesses on the Peninsula. Each time, the MO is the same: He walks in, flashes a gun and takes off with the cash. But this time, an AutoZone employee decided he was going to take action.
“I was in fear of my life as soon as he walked through the door and I see the gun. Your heart just starts pounding,” says Devin McClean, a former Auto Zone employee.
“I waited for him to go up toward the front, I ran out of the restroom, ran out to my truck where I keep my own personal weapon, grabbed my weapon, came back into the store and confronted the guy,” says McClean.
“When I yelled “freeze” and I said “Stop, drop the weapon,” he threw his hands up with his gun still in his hand he started running,” says McClean. “I felt like it was my responsibility to step in.”
Two days later, he was fired.
“It’s pretty much getting slapped in the face doing something that you feel was right everybody else around you feels you were right,” says McClean.
NewsChannel 3 spoke to a representative at AutoZone’s corporate office, and he says that the company has a zero tolerance policy for employees having weapons inside the store.
“If I can save somebody’s life, I put that way above a store policy,” says McClean.
Devin McClean (right) was fired for confronting The Fake Beard Bandit.
Note that Autozone claims to have a zero tolerance policy for employees having weapons inside the store. However, they are mum about whether legally armed citizens are allowed to shop at an Autozone outlet. . Are they banned as well? And what about illegally armed citizens, like our "fake-beard bandit"?
And how would those same corporate offices be reacting today if the bad guy had blasted away inside Autozone, killing employees and shoppers, and our same Mr. McClean, interviewed afterwards, stated he could have stopped the massacre but was in fear of losing his job to Autozone's "zero-tolerance" policy towards weapons?
Mr. McClean is a hero, and lost his livelihood for it. I don't believe that sending a message urging Americans to acquiesce to criminal behavior is being a "good corporate citizen". Do you?
Apparently, a lot of gun-toting Americans - as well as law-abiding unarmed citizens - don't believe so either. Sounds like a lot of them are planning a boycott (uh-oh, a Facebook page!) . Ah, who cares? It's not like guys with guns and pickup trucks who like to hunt and shoot are the type of people who would actually fix their own cars...
You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain....