Victims of attempted armed robbery fight back in Columbus and Cincinnati

by Chad D. Baus

Columbus police say a man who died on August 10 was attempting to rob someone when he was fatally shot by the intended victim.

From WCMH, Columbus' NBC affiliate:

According to Columbus police, the shooting occurred in the 700 block of Sullivant Avenue at 8:48 p.m. Monday.

Officers found Mario Williams, 22, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to Mount Carmel Hospital West, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police said the investigation revealed that Williams was allegedly attempting to rob another man and during the robbery, the intended victim shot Williams.

The shooter was questioned by police and released.

Columbus police said the case will be presented to the Franklin County Grand Jury for review.

In earlier coverage, Columbus' 10TV reported that the intended victim may have been attacked by not one, but a group of robbers, and that the whole event was captured by a surveillance camera.

Meanwhile in Cincinnati, CBS affiliate WKRC reported on August 8 that a Bond Hill restaurant owner fought back when an armed robber tried to steal from him.

Police say the man held a gun to the head of the owner at Hook Fish and Chicken on Reading Road in Bond Hill. Local 12's Tiffany Wilson talks to the victim about the terrifying encounter.

The restaurant stays open until five a.m. on the weekends. Just an hour before closing Saturday morning, a man walked in and ordered a philly cheesesteak and chicken strips. But the owner quickly realized he wanted much more than fast food. "He put the gun in my head."

In that moment, Ali Haaj thought his life was over. "I'm thinking that's the last day of my life you know. Because he can shoot you, he can shoot all of us."

Haaj quickly opened the cash drawer and allowed the suspect to empty his safe. Then, while the suspect loaded dimes, nickles and dollar bills into plastic carry out bags... Haaj grabbed his gun and snuck out the back door. He crouched behind a delivery van waiting for the suspect to walk out. "When he come outside, I'm trying to stop him, I told him to freeze, don't move."

But the suspect didn't stop - instead he started shooting, hitting the van. Haaj didn't back off. "Five feet between me and him, I shoot him in the legs."

Haaj says the suspect tried to take off with $4000 in cash and two carry out meals. He didn't make it far. Employees of the Hook Fish and Chicken held him until police arrived.

...Haaj did get his money back. He tells us his delivery van will need major repairs because one of the bullets went through the radiator.

According to the article, the suspect was taken to University Hospital for treatment.

Although multiple news articles have been published on these two incidents of self-defense, none of them bothered to mention whether or not either of the intended victims held a concealed handgun license.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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