Concealed Carry Hero Shoots Man Attacking Starbucks Barista
Millcreek, UT – A Starbucks barista is very grateful that one of her regular customers had a concealed weapon with him on Oct. 4, when a man attacked her behind the counter at the coffee shop.
Shelby Hamilton, 24, was working an early morning shift at the Starbucks located at 3900 South and 900 East in Millcreek when she said a “haggard-looking” man entered the store, KSL reported.
Hamilton said the man did not approach the register to order, but instead made his way behind the counter and toward her.
She said 37-year-old Benjamin Overall asked her if she knew who he was, and when she said she did not, he became enraged and attacked her, KSL reported.
“It was all just kind of random. I didn’t really know him,” Hamilton told KSL. “He just came in the door and hit me in the back of the head from behind.”
She said she backed up from him to get away, but quickly found herself trapped against the counter as the man continued to hit her in the head and face.
None of her co-workers tried to intervene as Hamilton was attacked, KSL reported.
“I started to think why no one was helping me, ‘cause he was only hitting me, and I felt kind of angry for a moment,” she said.
She told KSL she thought she was going to die after Overall picked up a metal supply basket and smashed it into the side of her head. She collapsed to the floor, and he began kicking her in the back.
Hamilton said that was when her co-workers ran outside and started screaming for help.
Seconds later, the nightmare was over after one of her regular customers pulled out his licensed, concealed-carry weapon and shot Overall as he approached him.
“The first thought in my head was that this had turned into a shooting,” Hamilton told KSL, describing the moment after she heard the gunshot.
“My second thought was… he just shot my friends, and my third thought was… he’s going to come back here and shoot me,” the barista said.
She was still hiding under the counter when police arrived on the scene a few moments later. Then she heard that her attacker had been shot in chatter over the police radios.
“My honest thought? I just hoped that he was dead,” Hamilton said.
Unified Police Lieutenant Ken Hansen said that the Good Samaritan who rescued the Starbucks employees was a man in his 60s who happened to be there to get his morning coffee.
Police said the man attracted Overall’s attention, and the enraged man stopped beating on Hamilton and made his way toward the Good Samaritan.
When he got close, the customer pulled out his gun and shot Overall once in the chest, police said.
It didn’t stop Overall, who then stumbled out of the store. But police arrived quickly and used a Taser to subdue him and take him into custody, KSL reported.
Lt. Hansen said police believed Overall suffered from mental health issues. Police have not released the identity of the good Samaritan, FOX News reported.
“He witnessed the assault against the clerk,” Lt. Hansen said. “And his response, because apparently after the assault the guy came after him, and so he shot the man in the chest.”
The lieutenant said the Good Samaritan cooperated with the police investigation, but he doesn’t know if the man will be charged in the shooting. He said it was unlikely because the shooting appeared to be self-defense, FOX News reported.
“I’m just really grateful to be alive, and I’m thankful for everyone who was there to help me,” Hamilton told KSL.
Starbucks stores asked that customers not carry weapons in its stores beginning in 2013, but the rule is a request and not an outright ban.
“I never would have expected that from him,” Hamilton said, according to FOX News. “He just seemed like a very meek guy. So I was surprised, but also very grateful. I was very grateful that he was there. And I was glad it was somebody we see regularly so that hopefully, in the future, I can thank him.”
Overall and Hamilton were both transported to the hospital after the incident. Hamilton was treated and released.
Her attacker remained in the hospital longer, recovering from his gunshot wound.
On Oct. 9, Overall was charged in 3rd District Court with the third-degree felony of aggravated assault and misdemeanor trespassing, KSL reported.
The affidavit for his arrest said that Overall had been convicted of intoxication in May in Salt Lake Justice Court, according to KSL.
Police said he attempted to gain entry to a hotel room that was not his on that occasion.
The affidavit said that Overall "could not stand or walk on his own (and) stated that he had drank too much," KSL reported.