The hero who took out an armed robbery suspect told the News of the incredible struggle inside a car and the moment he thought the gun was being turned on him.
Former security guard Dave, who asked for his last name to be withheld, leapt into action after watching two masked men flee Ben Moss jewelry store in Richmond Centre Tuesday evening.
After pursuing one of the suspects out of the mall’s No. 3 Road exit, Dave heard a scream and commotion at a car in the Brighouse Square parking lot over the other side of the road.
Without a second’s thought for his own safety, he ran over to see the armed man trying to wrestle the female driver out of her car with threats of “get out of the God damn car, I have a gun.”
It was in that two or three-second flash that Dave seized his chance to tackle the suspect head-on.
“That was my moment of opportunity,” Dave said.
“(The driver) was screaming and struggling, I don’t think she wanted to get out. I kinda pushed him into the car and managed to force the gun hand to the side.
“I was kinda on top of him and the woman was under there somewhere. I thought to myself ‘he’s trying to turn that gun on me.’”
Dave recalls it was about that time that the gun, thought to be a .45 caliber pistol, went off inside the car.
“(The suspect) bit my hand; it was my hand that was stopping the gun from being pointed at me, I think he was trying to turn the gun on me,” recalled Dave, who said he has lots of experience with weapons due to many teenage years in the cadets.
“But I’ve been in these situations before and the bite just made me push down even harder.”
The drama unfolded just after 6 p.m. Tuesday when two men entered Ben Moss Jewelers inside the mall and began smashing the glass display cases and grabbing merchandise, according to witnesses.
Witnesses said they heard a “big bang” and the sound of broken glass, followed by the men running for the mall exit.
During Dave’s struggle, another bystander, who was dining at a nearby restaurant, came out to investigate the commotion and assisted him in detaining the suspect until police arrived.
The suspect was injured during the struggle and was taken to hospital. The other suspect fled the scene and has yet to be captured.
Leslie Matheson, marketing director for the mall, said the RCMP came immediately following the incident.
“Our major concern is the safety of our customers, tenants and staff, and we are working with them to get this matter resolved.”