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7-Eleven clerk fired for pulling gun in armed robbery

10:20 AM, Oct 25, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida- Robert VanConett just wanted to make an honest living working the late night shift at the 7-Eleven on 34th Street North in St. Petersburg. He became increasingly concerned for his safety however, after a series of armed robberies over his six years with the company.

"It's a little scary at times working overnight," said VanConett.

PHOTOS: Eleven clerk fired for pulling gun in armed robbery

October 12th it happened again. Security video shows a man approaching the counter, first attacking one of VanConett's co-workers with a cup of hot coffee before pulling out a knife and going after the money. 

WATCH: Suspect uses coffee, knife in robbery attempt

Fearing for their safety, Robert, who's permitted to carry a concealed weapon, pulled out his own gun.

"I just wanted to get him out of the store and it worked," said VanConett.

The suspect was scared off and no one was injured, but days later 7-Eleven fired Robert for bringing his gun to work, a violation of company policy.

"I was pissed off," he admits. "I'd do it again. It was just the simple fact I'm not going to sit there and get stabbed or get cut or anything like that. The guy looked like he was on drugs or something."

St. Petersburg Police say no laws were broken, but individual company policies vary.

"We certainly understand people have a right to arm themselves... so as long as those firearms are used lawfully, that's all we really ask for," said Mike Puetz, spokesperson for the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Citing cases like the Murder of a Riverview 7-Eleven clerk stabbed more than 50 times, Robert thinks his former company should reconsider their rule.

"You don't want to pull it out or shoot anybody, but you don't want to be sitting in there if they start shooting and have nothing."

In the mean time he's searching for a new safer job hoping the suspect in his robbery ends up behind bars.

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