Last Friday night, two men walked into a Family Dollar in Birmingham with the intention of robbing it. This isn’t too unusual since the store has been hit numerous times in recent months. However, these men were quite different in their approach, as the pair walked in carrying swords or machetes.

The pair didn’t do very well, as one Family Dollar employee was carrying a gun, and he drew it on the robbers.

“He got to the end of the aisle and said they’re robbing us they’re robbing us,” said Precious Spencer to WBRC. “So, he’s holding his gun and he says when they seen me take my gun out then they ran. But they came here with swords and that kind of threw us for a loop because no one really got robbed with swords before. What were they going to do, chop our heads off and get the stuff?”

Spencer also stated that while associates are not supposed to carry guns, the fellow employee felt the store had been robbed too much lately. There is no telling what might have happened if the armed employee hadn’t been there.

The Birmingham police, of course, don’t recommend people getting involved in a robbery. However, the Family Dollar employee did what he felt was right. Police are also hoping to get these alleged robbers off the street. Despite the weirdness of the chosen weapon, these guys are dangerous, and could easily escalate to using guns.

Was Family Dollar Employee Considering the 21-Foot Rule?

Also known as the Tueller Drill, the 21-foot rule comes from an article from years ago. In it, a Salt Lake City police officer Dennis Tueller asked how close is too close when facing an attacker with a knife? He determined that most bad guys can cover 21 feet in 1.5 seconds. So, to defeat an attacker with a knife, blunt object or even sword, a shooter must draw and fire accurately in 1.5 seconds. There is a lot more to the rule and the drills than this, but that is the basics.

Thinking on this, the Family Dollar employee probably used the aisles and other concealment to eliminate the option of a charge. Also, if the gun in already out, firing time is sped up greatly. In any case, the employee used good judgement in carrying in a store many might consider dangerous. He also used levelheadedness to protect his store and send these guys packing without even firing a shot.

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