November 30, 2012
By Robert W. Hunnicutt
By now, we are used to the story. Armed robber enters store, courageous employee pulls gun and foils robber. Courageous employee gets fired for violating company policy.
It happened again in York Co., Va., where Devin McClean was working at the local AutoZone when the "Fake Beard Bandit," who has pulled off more than 30 armed robberies in Southeast Virginia, entered and displayed a gun.
McClean exited the store's restroom, ran to his truck and retrieved his Glock. He reentered the store and confronted the robber, who dropped his own pistol and bolted. No shots were fired.
McClean's local manager was grateful for his co-worker's fast action, but predictably, corporate headquarters saw it differently and two days later, McClean was fired.
The parts man was philosophical: "If I can save somebody's life, I put that way above a store policy," he said.
It used to be the thing to call for a boycott when this sort of injustice happened, but chain retail stores pretty universally forbid employees from having personal firearms on premises, so we'd be boycotting the whole world. My suggestion? If you have a locally owned auto parts store, patronize it. And if you have a business in Southeast Virginia and can use a brave man as an employee, look up Devin McClean.