When a would-be thief walked into a Missouri liquor store and pulled out a gun, he had no idea he had just picked the wrong cashier to try to rob. However, he very quickly realized the huge mistake he had made — and it was all caught on video.
Robbers know all too well that it’s easy for a victim to give in to their demands when a gun is pointed in their direction. However, there is always the chance an intended victim won’t follow the unwritten script. Every once in a while, they decide to be a hero instead, and such was the case when a would-be thief pulled a gun on a liquor store cashier named Jon Lewis Alexander, a veteran who had done four tours in Iraq.
On a Sunday night in 2013, Jon Lewis Alexander was working his typical shift as a clerk at the “Beer 30” liquor store in Marionville, Missouri, when things took an unexpected turn. A would-be thief decided to try to rob the 54-year-old cashier, not realizing he had spent 30 years in the military, in addition to being a former prison guard and private investigator, who once helped extradite federal prisoners, according to Arkansas Online.
On the night in question, the unnamed wannabe tough guy swaggered through the door of the liquor store, puffing on a cigarette as Alexander stood behind the counter at the register. The liquor store clerk quickly informed the man that smoking wasn’t allowed inside the store, but rather than putting out the cigarette, “He just took another puff and looked me dead in the eyes, like he was Billy Badass,” Alexander recalled.
That was the guy’s first mistake, but it wouldn’t be his last. Instead, the man’s mistakes just kept piling up from that second on, according to NY Daily News. In fact, he immediately made a second and third mistake as the would-be crook looked Alexander in the face and demanded, “You need to give me all your f–king money!” However, Alexander wasn’t about to comply — not even when the guy pulled a pistol.
As seen in surveillance camera footage captured inside the store, the wannabe thief pulled and began to raise his pistol, but the clerk was quicker than the crook. Without a moment’s hesitation, Alexander covered the man’s gun with one hand while swinging his own pistol right into the thug’s face with the other, telling him, “You need to get the f–k out of here before I blow your f–king head off.”
Realizing he had met his match, the armed robber stood face-to-face with the clerk as the muzzle of Alexander’s 9-mm was pressed firmly against his lips — an uncomfortable position to be in, to be sure. With an armed victim, the crook no longer had the upper hand and the confrontation came to an end with the robber backing away from the counter and heading straight out the door — the only smart thing he had done during that trip to the liquor store.
As for the calm, cool, and collected clerk, he credits his ability to stay level-headed throughout the intense exchange to his resume, which includes a long career of “high-risk” jobs. “I’ve been around weapons and been around danger a lot,” Alexander explained. “It didn’t really bug me that much,” he added, speaking of the attempted armed robbery.
In addition to his extensive training and experience, Alexander also seemed to be a reasonable man, who didn’t intend to hurt another human being unless it was absolutely necessary, which likely saved the gunman’s life. Alexander explained that he didn’t shoot the thief because he was able to direct the man’s weapon away. “I couldn’t see shooting the man if he couldn’t shoot me,” Alexander said. “If I had seen the actual barrel of the gun, I would have pulled the trigger,” he added. “My life wasn’t threatened.”
At the time of the incident, Alexander had only been working at Beer 30 for about four months. Although owner Jeannine Dawson knew about his background, she was still amazed by what she saw when she reviewed her surveillance tape. “I was like, ‘Holy s–t,’” Jeannine Dawson said. “That’s awesome.”
According to Jeannine, who owns a pair of liquor stores in Southwest Missouri with her husband Max, crime wasn’t always a problem in the area. However, that all changed, she said. “It wasn’t until everybody and their dog started using meth,” Jeannine Dawson recalled, discussing how her stores had been hit by break-ins, shoplifters, and this armed robbery attempt.