58-year-old Mike Panther, a resident of Midlothian Texas, was in the parking lot of a Brookshire’s grocery store waiting for his wife to finish shopping when he was approached by two people.
21-year-old Caleb Jefferson and 17-year-old Niyah Williams walked up to Panther and began to speak with him.
According to Panther, Jefferson said,
‘Man, I can’t believe you’re up here. I haven’t seen you in so long. What are you doing?’
Panther, confused, thought Jefferson was someone he’d met before.
Jefferson then quickly opened the passenger side door, got in, and changed his tactics.
“He comes up and tells me, ‘I’ve got a gun. I’ll blow your head off,” Panther remembers. “I said, Whoa, dude.’ And he said, ‘the next words out of your mouth I’m going to send you to heaven.’ At that point, it was almost like second nature to me.”
“I said, ‘well, let’s both go (to heaven) together.’”
Expecting an easy target but instead getting a gun barrel pointed at them, Jefferson and Williams fled the vehicle and ran into the store while Panther kept his pistol trained on them.
Police were contacted and arrived a short time later to apprehend the suspects after a brief struggle.
According Midlothian PD, Jefferson didn’t even have a gun, just his fingers under his shirt.
Both Williams and Jefferson were charged with aggravated robbery and resisting arrest.
“At no point in that automobile did I want to shoot that young man,” Panther told Fox News, “I think if my brain would have told me that is a handgun, I’m afraid that young man would be dead right now. And I’m just so thankful that it did not happen that way.”
Panther went on to say that while the situation was a bad one, he’s thankful the would-be-carjackers choose to confront him instead of someone else in the parking lot,
“They could have gotten into an automobile with somebody other than me that they would have taken. Left this parking lot. We may have never seen them again,” he said.
Panther went on to say,
“I’m a gun owner. I’m an NRA member. I’m a TSRA (Texas State Rifle Association) member,” Panther said. “I’ve waited for this day to happen. And even though I’ve waited for it to happen hoping it would never happen, it happened.”
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