Dayton, OH – The outraged family of an armed robber who was fatally shot while holding up a Dollar General store said that the employee who shot him had no reason to bring a gun to work.
“You do not take matters into your own hands and bring a gun to work for safety! Period!” the suspect’s furious sister told WHIO in an interview.
The incident occurred at the Dollar General store on Gettysburg Avenue at approximately 6:20 p.m. on Oct. 9, WHIO reported.
Police said that the suspect, later identified as 23-year old Roosevelt Rappley, barged into the store with a handgun and demanded that employees give him cash from the register.
According to witnesses, Rappley pointed the weapon at multiple employees during the holdup.
But when he pointed the gun at one unnamed store clerk, he discovered the worker was carrying a weapon of his own.
“I just had somebody try to attempt and rob me over here at Dollar General on Gettysburg,” the employee told 911, according to the Dayton Daily News. “Came in with a firearm, threatened to take money out the drawer, pointed a gun at me and my staff members.”
“He pointed a gun at me,” the caller continued. “I had a firearm on me, I pulled my firearm and I shot him in self-defense.”
The employee also told the dispatcher that the gunman “shot back” at him, but it was unclear how many rounds were fired, WHIO reported.
Rappley was pronounced dead at the scene by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office just before 6:30 p.m.
Police said that the employee who shot Rappley was carrying his weapon legally.
“As far the as the employee at Dollar General, he was legally possessing a weapon,” Dayton Police Lieutenant Jason Hall told WHIO. “He was on private property at his place of employment.”
The lieutenant noted that a concealed carry permit is not required to carry a firearm on private property, the Dayton Daily News reported.
Rappley was already facing a weapons-related charge prior to the armed robbery attempt, according to WHIO.
“The deceased did have a pending weapons charge that was waiting to move forward,” Lt. Hall explained. “Right now, we are looking into the possibility of this individual may have been involved in several other commercial robberies.”
But Rappley’s siblings were outraged that the employee was armed at work, and blamed him for escalating the situation that ended in Rappley’s death.
Rappley’s sister declared that her brother had “some responsibility” for what occurred, “but not all,” WHIO reported.
“Right and wrong is wrong – that was wrong for that clerk to shoot my brother in the chest!” she yelled. “At the end of the day, that’s not right!”
“Yes, he’s robbin’ y’all. Oh well! Call the police!” she suggested. “That’s what y’all supposed to do. Y’all not supposed to take matters in y’all own hands. If that’s the case, I’m gonna take matters into my own hands!”
The Dollar General refused to comment on whether employees are allowed to carry firearms at work, WHIO reported.
“At Dollar General the safety of our customers and employees is a priority,” the company told the Dayton Daily News in an email. “In line with that commitment, we employ a number of safety and security procedures to prevent, deter, and if necessary, respond to criminal activity in our stores.”
“To protect the integrity of these measures, we do not comment on them specifically,” the company’s statement read. “We are continuing to review the circumstance surrounding this evening's events in Dayton, Ohio, and are cooperating with local authorities in their investigation.”