Clerk fights back to stop robbery at Newport News store

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by Jonathan Costen, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on October 18, 2013 at 7:42 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 18 at 12:40 PM

10/18 UPDATE: Police say a Crime Line tip led to the arrest of Lonell James Thomas Boddie. He's charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit a felony (robbery) and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

NEWPORT NEWS - A store clerk wrestled the gun away from a would-be robber and the whole thing was caught on surveillance video.

"Not today, not today. You're not robbing us today. That's all I told him," said Thomas Smith.

Smith was working with his brother at the Speedy Mart at 19th Street and Jefferson Avenue in Newport News on September 29.  It was a normal night - nearly closing time - then two men walked in.  One of them went to the counter, pulled a gun and demanded money.

When he got close enough, Smith grabbed for gun and they struggled.  At one point, the gun went off, but that didn't bother Smith.

"My motto is I'm going home at the end of the night. I got kids. They look up to me. I got to get to them," Smith added.

The would-be robbers left the store without any money as the brothers chased after them.  

No one was hurt.

Smith says the police, his boss and even his mom told him he shouldn't fight back if it ever happens again, but he's not promising he'd stand back and let a robbery happen.

They're described as black, around six feet tall, with slim builds and wearing all black clothing. The gunman's face was covered by a white cloth, possibly a T-shirt. He had either an older rifle or small caliber shotgun. The second man had on a reddish cap and a bandanna over his face.

Anyone with information can call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

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