Pizza Hut fires deliveryman for defending own life on company time

May 18, 2004
Indianapolis Star

Deliveryman: 'It was my gun or his'

Marion County prosecutors will decide if any charges will be filed against a pizza deliveryman who killed an armed man during an apparent robbery attempt Monday night on the city's Far Eastside.

"I'm just satisfied it was him and not me," said Ronald B. Honeycutt, 38, of Carmel this morning.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

Honeycutt said he pulled his gun and fired off all 15 rounds when, as he was about to get into his van, he turned and saw a man coming toward him.

"He said, "Hey, my guy," and as he said "Hey, my guy," he's lifting his arm up with his gun in his hand."

Honeycutt said he pulled his own 9 mm pistol and fired off all 15 rounds at the other man at close range.

The other man, Jerome Brown, 20, 9500 block of East 39th Place, was taken to Methodist Hospital where he died a short time later.

Marion County Sheriff Capt. Phil Burton said there were no witnesses to the shooting, which occurred about 11 p.m. in the 3600 block of Long Wharf Drive.

Burton said he did not know how many times Brown was shot but it was multiple times.

Burton said the investigators would present their findings to the Marion County Prosecutor's office.

Honeycutt said detectives had told him that "something could come out of it" because of the number of times he had shot Brown.

Honeycutt said he emptied his gun in less than 10 seconds and kept firing because he couldn't tell whether the bullets were striking Brown, who was three to five feet away. "He never ran. He never cried. He never moved. It was like I was missing him altogether."

Honeycutt said that after Brown fell, with his gun arm outstretched, Brown said, "I just wanted a pizza."

But Honeycutt said he didn't believe him, "because that's not what he wanted," he said.

The deliveryman said he later learned that Brown's gun never fired because there wasn't a round in the chamber. However, he did hear Brown's gun click two times, he said.

Honeycutt, who said he was laid off about a year ago from a transportation job with The Indianapolis Star, said he has been delivering pizza for 20 years. "I've always had a gun," he said. "I like delivering pizzas. It's a fair job, but I don't plan on dying for it. I know so many people that really got mangled up."

Honeycutt, who was delivering for the Pizza Hut store at 8932 E. 38th Street, said he had already made a $50 delivery Monday night where bystanders had badgered him. "I expected to get robbed," he said.

Then he drove to the Long Wharf Drive apartment. He said he noticed two men coming towards him as he was approaching the building but he doesn't know if either of them were Brown or associated with him.

After making his delivery, he turned around -- "to check my back one more time" -- and saw a man walking briskly toward him. He had reached his van and opened the door when he saw Brown raise his arm, he said. "Once he leveled that gun at me, it was my gun or his."

Honeycutt said he picked up Brown's gun after the shooting, because he feared Brown had an accomplice, and drove back to the store, just a couple of minutes away, where detectives later met him.

Honeycutt said he was fired from his job because he had violated the store policy against carrying a gun, which he was licensed to carry.

"It's my life. I choose which policy to follow."

A Pizza Hut spokeswoman, Patty Sullivan, confirmed that the ban on carrying weapons is a company policy.

Honeycutt said he had never had to fire his gun in self-defense before, although he had pointed at some would-be robbers once before.

"I'm a pretty down to earth kind of person. With everything that's transpired since 911, killing these days almost seems a necessity if it means your life or theirs."

Help us fight for your rights!

Become a member of Buckeye Firearms Association and support our grassroots efforts to defend and advance YOUR RIGHTS!

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter

Get weekly news and instant alerts on the latest laws and politics that affect your gun rights. Enjoy cutting-edge commentary. Be among the first to hear about gun raffles, firearms training, and special events. Read more.

We respect your privacy and your email address will be kept confidential.


Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.