Gas Station Employee Receives Praise For Self-Defense

A Pensacola Beach gas station employee who opened fire on a mob that was menacing him will not face any charges stemming from the incident. In fact, the Circle K clerk’s quick action gained praise from the local sheriff. 

A video posted to YouTube showed a number of individuals engaged in an altercation with the clerk. 

One of the group shots at the clerk to “be a man!” 

The clerk is then shown following the group out of the exit with a pistol in hand. A number of shots are heard out of frame, followed by shouting within the store. 

The clerk returns and apologized to the customers inside. He added that the store was closed and that he had “three kids.”

One customer of the store told local press that similar events occur at other local businesses. She said that gas station clerks “get a lot of harassment.” 

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on Facebook stating that it would not bring charges against the employee.

Sheriff Chip W. Simmons (R) wrote that following a review of the video footage of the incident, the department “will not be bringing charges against the clerk at this time.” 

The sheriff wrote that up to five individuals “were involved in a disturbance and continued walking in and out of the store, threatening the clerk.” 

Simmons added that the “individuals involved chose not to press charges, and there is nothing to discount the clerk’s statement regarding what the five individuals were doing at the time he fired.” 

The sheriff added that the situation led the clerk to feel “threatened by the collective actions both inside and outside of the store.” 

Simmons said that it “just doesn’t seem right to me to make the clerk a felon based upon these circumstances.”

Simmons was elected to his post in 2020 by a wide margin, earning more than 60% of the vote. Simmons promised to have Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies wear body cameras.