Arturo Taveras, a 69-year-old store clerk in Lawrence, Massachusetts, managed to scare off a would-be burglar by drawing a pistol. A man wearing a ski-mask and holding a pistol entered Taveras’s store late one evening earlier this week and demanded money. Taveras pulled his gun, and with that the robbery was over before it even had a chance to begin. No shots were fired during the incident.
Taveras explained, “I was shocked to see him, then I realized right away that it was an attempted robbery because he came into the store with a gun in his hand. I think I reacted well because he turned around and left … When I find myself in situations like this, I always think ‘the coward one dies first’ so I push all fears aside.”
This isn’t the first time that Taveras had a run-in with armed robbers. Back in 2011, Taveras was pistol-whipped by a pair of thieves, bound, and held hostage during a tense stand-off with police. Those gunmen were eventually captured and are currently withering behind bars.
This time, Taveras was prepared.
“I do whatever I need to protect myself, to protect the people, and to protect my business,” he explained. “I never scared!”
Other members of the community supported Taveras. A manager from a nearby supermarket said that Taveras is “a good man, a good neighbor, with good conversation.”
Taveras also has the law on his side. “Taveras acted within the law,” said Lawrence Police Chief John Romero. Romero added that Taveras had “every right to protect himself.”
What’s so striking about this story is that it shows how much of a difference a single gun can make. Taveras went from being bound with electrical tape and at the mercy of two armed crooks to scaring away an armed robber.
Despite his advanced age, Taveras is one gun owner who can still put up quite a fight.