Driver kills "would-be" robber

http://www.wltx.com/news/story.aspx?sto … 68&catid=2

Irmo (WLTX) - Two of the men suspected of holding up a pizza delivery driver–a crime which led to the shooting death of one of the suspects–were in court Monday morning.

Jason Beckham, 18, and Carlos Dates, 20 appeared before a magistrate at the Lexington County Detention Center. The judge set bond at $250,000 for both men.

The two are part of a four-person group who deputies came up with a plan to rob a pizza delivery man.

Lexington County Sheriff James Metts says Saturday night, four men ordered pizza to a house on Avery Place Drive with the intent of robbing whomever delivered it. None of the four lived there and officials say the homeowner did not realize his home was being used for a robbery.

Pizza Hut delivery man Christopher Miller, 43, says he showed up at the home at 10:30 p.m. and 17-year-old Paul Sturgill was standing on the sidewalk waiting for him.

Officials say soon after Miller got out of the car, two other men ran at him from the woods. When Miller started running away, that’s when authorities say Sturgill continually tried beating him in the face.

Miller, who has a concealed weapons permit, says he pulled out .45 caliber handgun that he had in his fanny pack and shot Sturgill in his chest. Sturgill was taken to the hospital where he later died.

The three other suspects ran.

Lexington County officials arrested Beckham at the home of the alleged robber who died early Sunday morning. Dates was arrested around the same time.

The final suspect, Justin Roundtree, turned himself over to authorities around 9:15 Sunday night.

Avery Place Drive looks like the perfect place to get outside and enjoy the sun. But Saturday night, one resident encountered a much darker scene. “There was a man holding a gun, the Pizza Hut delivery guy holding a gun. He was talking to the police officer or the operator and there was also another guy, a young teenager laying on the ground with blood everywhere,” he says.

Not knowing who was the suspect and who was the shooter, this resident’s aunt called 911 and heard the details from the operator, who had the delivery driver on the other line. “They had asked him if he had change for a hundred and he said no, and then one guy just started punching him,” she says.

Deputies say that’s when Miller began backing up. But, when more people came out of the woods, his gun made an appearance too. “It appears to me he acted in self-defense, but I can’t make that decision until the investigation is complete,” says Metts.

Deputies are looking into whether the robbery was gang-related, but residents here say it wouldn’t surprise them if it was. They say there’s been a dramatic increase in crime here over the past year. “It’s really scary, because we used to never have no problems. All this recently, it’s just been one thing after another,” one resident says.

They’re hoping this latest crime will be the last, to make sure the youngest member of the family won’t have to feel their fear in his own home. “I have a little cousin in there and I don’t want him to be around that,” says the male resident.

An autopsy will be performed Monday on Sturgill.

Miller has not been charged in connection to the shooting, but the incident remains under investigation.

Too bad he’ll have to live with this for the rest of his life…but at least he will LIVE! I sure wish the Illinois Chicago-mob run state government would get out of the way of a CC permit for it’s citzens!!!

I second that.

This was about 15 minutes away from our store. Here is link to newpaper story with a little more info, although they are a little sypathetic to the thugs.

http://www.thestate.com/local/story/708475.html

According to what I heard on the radio this morning the friends left with the pizza. I haven’t found that in writing anywhere though so I may have misheard it. I can’t imagine being cold enough to grab a pizza and run while my friend was dying. I guess they did not want his death to be for nothing.

If PH fires the guy I will hire him if he still wants to do the job.

Rick

A quote from the article:

“This sends a loud message to the criminal element — you don’t know who’s going to be armed and who’s not going to be armed when you go to rob someone.”

…or it could send the message - ‘if your going to rob a pizza delivery guy make sure you take a gun and shoot early!’ I know its your right to carry but its a slippery slope!

Wizzle, I do not carry but completely understand the desire to. I do not think it sends the message that they should shoot early. Most of these robberies are grab and dash type of stuff to get drug money or for thrills. They are not really wanting to kill anyone.

The neighborhood where I live (semi-rural plots of a few acres) has very few burglaries. None that I can think of even. But the neighborhood up the road (housing development) has them almost daily. Why? Because where I am is known to be populated by “country” folk who have been here for decades, are armed, and if they see you on their property you can bet they will be out there with their shotgun asking what you need.

I spoke with some news people today. The driver retreated when he saw the 3 come out of the woods, he ran about 100 feet before the the first kid caught him again and started punching him. Others were catching him. He was going to get a severe beating at the least. Thats when he drew his weapon. I don’t know if he did a call back since the house was not a regular. If he did do a callback he would have got the kids phone anyway.

As far as the slippery slope argument, sheep do not have fangs or claws, that is why wolves prey on them. If you watch nature, the predators, when options are available, prefer to attack the weak. These people are lazy predators. If you make it hard for them or dangerous they will look for an easier target. I normally don’t carry a weapon on delivery because I do not have a CWP so it would have to stay in the glovebox. We do frequently send out two people or even two cars if something doesn’t seem quite right.

I hope Mr Miller gets over his injuries soon and I hope he is emotionally capable of recovering from this. I do believe in our area the incidence of driver robberies will go down for a while.

http://www.wolo.com/index.php?option=co … &Itemid=50

Sheriff: Pizza Delivery Man Will Not Be Charged in Shooting Incident
Written by Polly Aun
Thursday, 12 March 2009 16:02
The Lexington County Police Department says a midlands pizza delivery man will not be charged after he shot one of his attackers on March 7, 2009. Authorities say four men attacked Christopher Miller while delivering pizzas on Avery Place Lane near Irmo.

Lexington County Sheriff James Metts says after their investigation detectives determined that Christopher S. Miller acted in self defense when he shot and mortally wounded a young man who was assaulting him during a robbery. The sheriff says Miller will not face criminal charges in connection with the incident.

Mr. Miller also released a statement to the news media concerning his former employment with Pizza Hut. Please see statement below:

My name is Christopher Miller; I am the driver who got robbed last Saturday. I would like to make the following statement regarding my leaving Pizza Hut.

I have read a lot of comments that have been posted on the websites and I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your support; they have greatly encouraged me and my family through this very difficult time. I also ask that you have some sympathy and compassion for the family of the boy that died, they are suffering more than I, please keep them in your prayers. I have been delivering pizza on and off, both fulltime and part-time for 10 years and this is the third time I have been robbed. I have delivered for both Dominos and Pizza Hut and both companies have a no weapons policy. I advised my manager the night of the robbery that I will no longer work at Pizza Hut as a delivery driver. I knew after what happened that my career as a driver was over. I have read a lot of comments about boycotting Pizza Hut; I am asking that you to not do that. I ask you this because I have a lot of friends at that store and they are all good people and they need your support. I am friends with all the drivers there and they are very apprehensive about every delivery they take. Those drivers need the support of good customers. Instead of boycotting the store, I ask that you have your order delivered and thank the driver by giving them a good tip. I care for the people at that store and I don’t want them to be punished for something that is not their fault. Again, I thank you for your notes of support and encouragement, I am doing ok. I’m taking it one day at a time and I do have a fulltime job that helps support me.

Christopher S. Miller

Even when it goes right, a driver can’t keep his job after legally defending himself.

Drivers are underpaid and largely unappreciated for the very dangerous job they do every day.

Should have gotten a raise, as opposed to being forced to quit.

If you think 100 - 150 bucks a night for 4-6 hours of work is underpaid than all hail gregster! He deserves a raise!

Just to let you know, in these days, pretty much everything you do is dangerous. A liquor store 3 doors down from me had an armed robbery, and the kid is only 21 years old. He was out for a whole weak thereafter due to being traumatized and shooken up. But yet, I never heard of him going online and accusing other liquor store owners that he’s underpaid.

A lot of professions are underpaid… My very first job was a bus boy making 5 bucks an hour. Was I underapaid? Yes. Did I work my arse off? Yes. Did I like my job? No. Did I quit after a week and find a much better paying position? Yes.

Most pizza drivers DO NOT make that much net pay in just 4-6 hours. I certainly don’t. I’ll take that raise then, thank you.

As dangerous as going alone to a preplanned location with poor lighting, no witnesses and no security systems whatsoever, familiar to the criminal who knows that you have cash and food and likely are not armed?

Oh, so since someone else got robbed on the job and didn’t complain about it, then I must be out of line to be upset about being put in similar dangerous situations? What kind of logic is that?

Oh, so since other people are underpaid, I should do nothing about increasing awareness about the dangerous situations drivers face and the relative low pay for such an inherently dangerous job? Phuleeeeese! :roll:

Come on guys…can we get past the “trounce Greg no matter what he posts” stage? The purpose of a forum is for the exchange of ideas. If we are only exchanging the same thoughts, where is the growth and purpose in this or any other forum. If you know going in you’re not going to be able to hold your electronic tongue then how about we just don’t push “send” on his posts?

I’ll never meet Greg I figure and I have nothing in stake for “defending” his right to post save the possible wrath of others who won’t agree with this attempted civility. But really…most of us have been in his shoes of being that guy out there schlepping our pies. We have to know that at least some of what he’s saying bears listening too b/c we’ve been there before him.

please?

Then its time to go get a new job… Cause I’ve seen it happen day in day out.

Hey, no ones pulling your arm. Its your own will. If you don’t like it, get that new high paying job you so badly deserve.

Its the fact that you’re the only one complaining that drivings work in such harsh conditions and are so underpaid. Open your eyes… Tons of people have “dangerous” jobs. I don’t hear anyone else complaining. Should I complain as an owner that I just spent 250k on a business that is hemorrhaging MASSIVE amounts of money every single day all while being totally open to a robbery any second of the day? I could, but who’s listening? Thats the risk I take. If I was scared of being held up by an armed robber, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now. Where ever you go, ON OR OFF THE JOB, you could be robbed. So since you’re sooooooo scared of danger, you should just find a way to work from home and never leave the house. Oh wait, someone could break into your house! Oh no.

Dude, again… If you don’t like the conditions you work in. Then get a new job. Simple as that. No matter what job you take, there is danger everywhere. You could work in an office, and drop a heavy box on your foot… No one is going to change your life for you, get off your high horse and find a new friggin job.

I know lots of drivers, and I myself have taken hundreds of deliveries… But yet I still take em, and so do others. Crap happens. Deal with it.

Gregster deserves 100% of what comes at him on this site. He is not here to educate us on the labor laws as he claims. He is here to be a thorn in our sides and try to raise his standing in the TTPG community. He adds nothing to this community but yet continues to post the same cut and paste clips over and over and over and over.

As far as this particular thread, I am SOOOO glad to read about a driver defending himself using appropriate force to fend off these scumbags. Unfortunately, I agree that he shouldn’t be allowed to continue to work at a place that had a policy against carrying a firearm. He knew the policy and appropriately left the job without forcing their hand. He should have found a job that would allow him to carry. They are out there.

That’s your advice? If things are wrong, just quit and ignore it? Well I choose to stay and fight to make things better. It’s attitudes just like yours that drive wages down, decrease safety and increase danger. If employees don’t agree with it they should just quit? It’s your way or the highway, right?

For every poster here, there are likely 10 or more people who read this stuff and never comment. They read my side of the story advocating higher wages for dangerous jobs, and your side of the story which says ‘put up with it or quit.’ I’ll keep fighting for what I think is right and you can keep telling people to quit. Thanks for reinforcing the ‘uncaring owner/manager’ stereotype. :roll:

It’s attitudes just like yours that drive wages down, decrease safety and increase danger

Actually Gregster I would tend to think that it is the attitude of those who feel that they are underpaid, and unsafe in their job but continue to work it that causes these things. If the majority of pizza drivers quit because they felt they were underpaid employers would have to pay more to keep their driving staff full. Simple economics.

That’s just it Paul, it’s not about me! It’s about tens of thousands of drivers who face dangerous conditions and policies that say ‘do not resist’ and that you may not be armed to protect yourself’, but the company is not liable if anything happens to you. Take this money and food and go drive out into the dark and we sure hope you make it back alive.

Paul, do you have drivers? Do YOU allow your drivers to be armed Paul? What policies do you have to protect drivers that help you make a profit?

Oh, and if you get outraged at the dangerous conditions, go find a company who will look the other way, but not openly support you defending yourself. Oh, and if we short you on mileage, well, ‘it’s tough all over’.

I’m fed up with the people in charge saying ‘deal with it’ and ‘stop complaining.’ I am using every opportunity available to be to get the word out. Others will hear me. Owners and managers will hate me or think twice before they make their next decision. Drivers will hear me too. If my words encourage even just one driver to stand up and fight, then it is all worth it.

I’d love to see the ones opposing me here invite their drivers to read all of what I have posted. But then that would not be in your best interests, would it? What would your employees say if they read your opinions here? Probably best we don’t find out…

I have encouraged my drivers to read your posts because I am one of the owners that beleives in educating all employees with regard to their rights and responsibilities, without one exception they have all expressed the opinion that you are an absolute fool. If you don’t like the way you are treated leave. You still would have the option to take action (post employment) against your employer for the wrongs that he has commited against you.

I havent seen any of them post their own opinions yet… I’ll wait.

the boss said you didn’t believe we think you are a stupid idiot for sticking were they treat you like crap well anyone that is that dumb deserves to be treated like crap i mean really are you some kind of masicust or wut