A convenience store robbery suspect was shot by a customer at a Pasco County gas station on Thursday morning.
The incident happened at the Marathon gas station located at 26556 Wesley Chapel Boulevard.
The Pasco Sheriff’s said that customer was completely justified and did what he had to do to avoid becoming a victim.
Investigators said the customer was getting coffee, as he did every morning.
That’s when a masked man, the Pasco Sheriff’s office identified as Christopher Lilly, came in with a gun.
He forced the customer and a clerk into the cooler.
“They were afraid that there might be more accomplices. They were afraid that they might come back and shoot them,” said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.
But that customer was armed too and came out, shooting at Lilly. He missed one shot, according to the sheriff’s office.
The two men fought and investigators said when Lilly reached for his gun, the customer shot him in the thigh, ending the threat.
Nocco said that customer was completely justified to shoot.
“When you are in a life and death situation and you are in fear of your life. You absolutely have the god given right in Pasco County to defend yourself, said Nocco.
Investigators said when the customer took off Lilly’s mask, he realized he knew him.
Lilly worked for him in the past.
Retired 34-year law enforcement veteran Scott Grant teaches a concealed weapons class and said while the customer did the right, shooting someone is not always easy to live with.
“The gentleman that did the shooting is going to go through a lot of things. He just shot somebody. So it’s not as simple as it is for somebody else,” said Grant.
Several hours after the shooting, deputies got it into it with another man who tried to walk into the crime scene.
He continued to resist and was handcuffed and later taken away in an ambulance.
The man appeared to be related to the store owner.
As for Lilly, the Sheriff’s Office said he’s been arrested at least 11 times before and is currently homeless.
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