tv Caught on Camera MSNBC May 16, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
criminals caught on surveillance cameras bursting into restaurants armed with guns and knives. >> at one point i just thought my life was over. >> jumping over convenience store counters. >> get on the floor. get on the floor. >> and terrifying unsuspecting customers and clerks. >> i'm going to cut you. >> they had one goal. to fwet what they needed at any cost.
when the target is armed, the tables are turned. >> i said, hey, you wasn't thinking about 911 when you was rob meg. >> this is the real deal. this is an automatic, and i like automatics, and now i got to kill these guys. caught on camera, armed and dangerous. panic erupts when three masked gunmen storm a restaurant demanding cash and jewelry, and it's all caught on surveillance cameras. >> you feel like at one point that i was going to die. >> we shot in the face. >> more helpless than anything. >> april 23rd, 2011. houston, texas. it's just after 2:00 a.m. and
hungry partiers move from the nightclubs to the 24-hour waffle house to wind down the night. >> party goers' favorite places to eat when the bar closes so, you usually get pretty full. >> you could tell that everybody that was at waffle house that night had come from a club because that's what people usually do. >> patrons have just arrived for a late night snack when suddenly three men burst in with guns. surveillance cameras record the violent ordeal tazz unfolds. >> we hadn't been there five minutes because we hadn't even placed our orders for drinks yet. saw the gun. that's when we noticed he was standing in front of the other guy with the gun in front of his head. >> waffle house employee brent byjorkland is also stunned by the brazen robbery. sfwhoo when the robbers came in, my back was towards the entrance. i was making waffles at the time, and i really didn't hear them. i turned to my right and saw a lady fall over a chair.
i thought she had too much to drink. that's when i realized what was going on. i saw three guys with guns, and i didn't whan to do. try to run? try to -- i just didn't have any idea what to do. >> this guy holding a big gun. the whole time i thought we were all just going to die. >> while almost everyone tries to take cover, the cameras captured jared cole, a regular at the waffle house making a bold move and attempting to escape. >> i had a chance to break and run to the door. i looked, and there was two guys. one had a shotgun, and one had a gun. i broke and run towards the
door. >> he was knocked to the floor. >> hit me on the right side of my face. at one point i just thought that my life was just over. >> he robbed the other customers. >> my friend that was sitting in front of me, she had hid a purse binned her back, and he saw that, and he came and snatched her purse and put it on the table and told her empty out this purse. i'm guessing she was still in shock because she was moving in slow motion just taking it out one by one, piece by piece. >> they wanted money. wallets, jewelry. he came up behind me, patted me on the wallet and it was in the
pocket of my pants. he was, like, give me your wallet. i said, buddy, let me give you all the cash i got and let me keep my wallet for my id and social security card. he said, yeah, sure, keep that stuff. it's hard to get back. >> they were screaming and telling the people behind the counter, you know, open up the register. >> the camera shows the thieves emptying the cash register, but they have their eyes on an even bigger prize. >> i didn't think anyone's life was in danger until they asked one of our waitresses to unlock our drop box under the register. no one works the night shift has the key to the drop box, and that's the only time i ever got scared for anybody because they seemed to think someone there did have a key. >> unable to get it open, the gunmen leave without the money from the drop box, but they still escape with about $2,000 in cash. >> i was still face down. mostly everything from everybody out of had there. it felt like to me like death. that's what it felt like to me.
>> after the robbers leave, one victim decides to take the law into his own hands. the surveillance photo shows the thief running with a gun. he darts across followed by another customer, and shoots in the direction of the fleeing robbers. >> i wasn't out there to see who was who, but i heard commotion. >> i heard gunshots outside after the robbery. >> despite the customer's effort to stop them, the three armed men escape. someone in the restaurant calls the police. they arrive at the waffle house shortly after the incident and take statements from the stunned customers. >> it's not an every day occurrence where 16 people were robbed at once. >> swref is with the houston police department and is the lead investigator on the case. he can see from the surveillance tape that the robbery is well planned. >> they were very strategic in how it played out.
one suspect stood by the door. the other suspect handed over the kitchen wrar and went back to where the cooks were, and the other suspect came to the other side of the waffle house to handle those people. everybody had a plan. >> other than the video, the masked robbers chandra levy little evidence for detectives to follow. >> two or three had gloves on. they made it difficult for us to be able to retrieve any kind of dna because of the fact that they just simply didn't leave any behind. >> two weeks after the robbery, detective breeden receives a call from the harris county police department.
so far no one is charged with the waffle house robbery, even the man that confessed. >> he was charged in other cases that were much stronger where we had a better case on him. both mitchell and cole say they are having a difficult time putting the terrifying experience behind them. >> it kind of makes you have a different perspective on life. if something happens to me, who is going to take care of my son? nobody is going to love your child or take care of your child the way that you take care of them. >>. >> you sit there, and you watch it, and you think, well, what would i do? it makes you think. a seemingly mild store owner confronts two men when they try
to hold up his shop. >> i got to kill these guys. >> when "caught on camera, armed and dangerous" continues. yeah, 10 gigantic gigs. for $80 a month. and $15 per line. more data than ever. for more of what you want. on the network that's #1 in speed, call, data, and reliability. so you never have to settle. $80 a month. for 10 gigs. and $15 per line. stop by or visit us online. and save without settling. only on verizon. i'm reworking the menu. veggies you're cool... mayo, corn dogs... you are so out of here! ahh... the complete balanced nutrition of great tasting ensure.
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a store owner turns the tables when he pulls out a gun to defend himself. >> probably figured that they would come into my store. he is such a nerd that if i pull a gun, he will probably just faint. >> february 14th, 2005. it's a few minutes before 9:00 a.m. in bardonia, new york, a town 35 miles north of new york city. and barry fixlor is about to open his jewelry store for the annual valentine's day rush. >> gentlemen come in from 9:00 in the morning until about 8:00 at night and pick up a heart real quick, engagement ring real quick, something for their
girlfriend, fiance, or wife. >> so when two men show up at the door a little early, barry doesn't think twice about letting them in the shop. >> i opened the door, and they followed me in the store and went around the counter and one of the fellows says i would like to see engagement rings. >> the man in the black coat stares into the display case and singles one out, a routine fixler has seen thousands of times. >> i figured this is just a normal sale. the other fellow actually joked around and said that, wow, i'm trying to talk my buddy out of it. sort of a joke. >> fixler hands the man a diamond ring. he examines the ring closely as if he is considering buying it, but fixler senses something is off. >> i seen that he was hesitating, and the prying tag of that ring was $14,000, so i figured to myself maybe that price salgts too much. >> as fixler and the man talk, something unexpected happens. >> what comes in my face is an
automatic pistol. >> the gunman demands money, but fixler has no intention of giving into his threats. the robbers don't realize it yet, but the unassuming shopkeeper is not as defenseless as he appears. >> my brain went into this is a real deal, this is an automatic, and now have i to kill these guys. i push the weapon out of my face. i bolted about eight to ten feet to where i have my revolver hidden. took it out of the holster and came up and pointed guns at each other and i just fired away. >> fixler aims at point-blank range and shoots both men in the chest. the dramatic moment is played out in front of the store's surveillance camera. >> as you view the surveillance tape, you can see him cursing i'll kill you, i'll kill you, i'll kill you. now he is mad at me. he probably thought i just ran to duck underneath the counter,
a scaredy cat, not knowing that i'm armed. i went around the counter and shot the other fellow, who was also armed and decided the chest. he goes down. they both go down. the fellow i shot first actually got up, stepped over his so-called partner to race out of the store. >> the man in black escapes unharmed because is he wearing a bullet proof vest, but the moon the ground is badly wounded. it turns out, he isn't wearing one. he actually makes it to my door. he seen seas a brown minivan. the getaway car. it screeches out of the parking lot leaving the second man behind. the police department responds within minutes.
>> i couldn't believe that it happened. >> the man in the black coat who jumped into the getaway car is matthew ross. he is eventually captured, convicted of attempted robbery, and sentenced to ten years in prison. the man in the white hoody, joseph nipper, is also convicted of attempted robbery, but dies two years after the shooting from complications from his wounds. what ross and nipper did not know that day was that fixler is a combat veteran who fought in vietnam and not the nerdy easy target they expected. >> they probably figured that i'm the last guy.
>> he wants to find a way to give badge. >> i'm in this business for over 20 years. they know that i just came from a life and death situation. >> the retired marine starts by helping local war veterans, including sergeant ed where i ryan who was wounded in the iraq war. >> sashgent ryan sustained a head injury. in learning of this barry fixler donated the profits of his store so they could make some repairs or changes to the house so they could accommodate their son. >> sergeant ed where i ryan's parents are grateful for the help that fixler has given them. >> we can never repay this guy for what he has done for us. he just wants to do it for eddie. he just says eddie did it for us, and i'm doing it for eddie. >> fixler also writes a book about the robbery and his vietnam experience called semper
cool and donates all royalties to wounded veterans through the barry fixler foundation. >> i want to honor the men and women serving today. the men and women serving when i was in service. i love my family, and i love my country. >> always mindful of the day two gunmen tried to rob him. >> i look like a very easy-going fellow. not a threat. nerdy. they really came thinking this was going to be a cakewalk. this is the easiest thing ever. it turned out not to be the easiest thing ever. >> coming up, a store manager who never fired a gun in her life hands a robbery with one shot. >> like i was coming around, and i grabbed the gun. ♪
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a man claiming to have a gun holds up this gas station convenience store and demands cash. the store manager pulls out a gun and shoots him, fearing for her life. >> lord, just let me take him with me if he is going to kill me. >> december 8th, 2004, columbus, ohio. karen smith arrives at work as manager it's her job to get ready for the day's business. >> i looked at him. >> smith sits behind the counter waiting for the man to speak up. >> smith knows exactly what he means. the store has been held up many times. this experience is caught on the store's surveillance camera.
i was getting robbed all the time. they come in, stick me up, i give them the money, and they run out. >> smith is surprisingly calm. >> this robbery isn't like the other hit-and-run stick-ups that she's experienced. this guy wants more. >> what else do you want? >> smith braces herself for his answer, but he never gives one. frightened for her life, smith panics and makes the split second decision to defend herself. >> i got scared then because i figured he was going to hurt me. i remember the gun was under the counter. i got up like i was coming around, and i grabbed the gun.
and shot him. >> smith has endured being robbed time and time again, but this time the no nonsense store manager shoots the man one time at point-blank range. >> now armed with a little more courage, smith makes sure the robber doesn't try to hurt her. >> please don't shoot me. call 911. >> in a dramatic turn of events, it's the robber who is now afraid for his life.
>> you wasn't thinking about 911 when you was robbing me. shut up. i'll call them. >> smith keeps the gun aimed at the robber until police arrive. >> i was so relieved when they came. it was like thank you god for not letting me kill this man. he didn't have no gun, but i was so terrified of him hurting me, i was, like -- >> the robber is 26-year-old desmond thompson. the bullet that hits him goes through his arm and he is able to make a full recovery. he is convicted of second degree robbery and sentenced to five years probation. as for smith, the franklin county sheriff's office concludes that she acted in self-defense and no charges are filed in the shooting. and while it took nerve to defend herself in the heat of the moment, it's months before she actually gets up the courage to watch the robbery on videotape.
>> the owner of the gas station installs a new bullet proof partition to protect employees. smith doesn't want to be known for shooting one, but she is proud that she defended herself. >> i was not going to let him hurt me. i would have did whatever i had to do. that was so terrifying that he was going to hurt me. dwlaets i shot him. >> dressed in a black jacket and camouflage pants and dark shades tony alton wield az samurai sword at a busy intersection. cornered, the man refuses to surrender his weapon without a fight. allison says he is possessed by the devil and is ready to kill
the demons who haunt him. >> he talked about his brothers in russia and china. never really >> the spectacle draws a crowd of onlookers and captures the attention of local news stations. they record allison brandishing his sword with no sign of letting up. during the course of the stand-off police attempt several nonlethal strategies from rubber bullets to pupper spray and mace, but nothing deters him. after 11 hours the police try one more approach. they use a fire hose to spray allison with cold water. hoping he will lose his grip on the sword. when that doesn't work they turn the water pressure up full blast. allison loses his balance and falls to the ground.
police officers use a ladder to subdue him. then pry the sword from his hand. after the intense standoff, the man is taken to a mental hospital with minor bruises. he is not charged with a crime. coming up, surveillance cameras capture a violent attempt to hold up a convenience store. >> the video was crazy. i was shocked to see it the way it went down. >> when "caught on camera armed and dangerous" continues.
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a brazen attack. two masked men run into a convenience store and shart stogt. >> i didn't know what to think. >> struggling to sur vif a clerk pulls out a gun and fights back. houston, texas. the day begins quietly at the valero convenience store. a long-time customer who goes by the name cowboy makes his routine stop.
zi heard somebody come in and say get on the floor. they had masks and guns, and that was it. i went and laid down. >> when i hear the shots, that's when i was scared as well. you know, this -- >> as the other clerk shields himself with the counter, a second man jumped through the glass partition and starts digging for cash. a surveillance camera shows the gunman forcing cowboy to stay on the floor. he is scared for his life. >> they come running. wasn't nothing i could do. they had me on the floor. mroo while one of the men is searching for cash, one of the clerks grabs a handgun hidden under the counter. the surveillance footage shows him exchanging shots with the gunman. seemingly unaware that the clerk
is armed, the second man keeps digging behind the counter. the clerk seizes the opportunity and fires two shots at the thief striking him once in each arm. stunned, the masked man scurries out the door. >> the video is crazy. i was shocked to see it the way it went down. >> houston police officer john pineda is the lead investigator on the case. he is hoping the surveillance video will be helpful identifying the suspects. to see on the video right off the bat without hesitation and want to start shooting. they had one goal, and that was to get what they needed at any cost. >> the store owner is also stunned to see his employees in a fight for their lives. >> we were lucky not to have --
honestly i don't know how they survived. their plan is shoot first, kill them, and for the second robber to jump in. they thought there was a lot of money somewhere stashed. >> police don't get a solid identification from the tapes, but it turns out they have another lead. a trail of blood. >> once that suspect got shot by the clerk, that kind of messed up their plans, and they did leave on foot. well, the individual that got shot just couldn't go anymore, so they didn't go too far. >> police quickly find the injured man in agony from his wounds. he is alone. his accomplice has fled. but the second suspect does not allude police for long. a few days after the incident police arrest the other man.
>> they were going to do whatever it took to get what they needed. a robber is basically a breath away from committing a homicide. >> both suspects are charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. the first man is convicted. the other case is dismissed. >> when you get a case like this, you want to do not just the victims justice, but the community justice. bow wow says both clerks are doing fine. >> they know my son still goes there every night. i feel very safe over there.
just as safe as can get anywhere else. >> as for cowboy, he still is visiting his favorite convenience store, though now he is a little more cautious. >> i'm confident every day. i'm a little more skeptical about what goes on around me now. gas station convenient stores can be targets for armed robbers, but they're hardly the only places that criminals are getting caught in the act. a man enters the william hill parlor with a large handgun and orders the lesching to hand over cash.
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>> but the intense standoff ends with an incredible shot by one of they are snipers. >> april 15th, 2004, atlanta, georgia. a man calls 911 and in a calm voice reports a dire situation. >> who has the gun? >> me. >> the man on the line is 51-year-old sten gettons. he is recently divorced and homeless and now he is armed and dangerous. >> what are you planning on doing with the gun? >> hopefully i'm going to shoot me. >> gettons tellings the 911 operator that he is going to kill himself, and in his unstable condition police are concerned he may shoot others as well. in the parking lot of a big supermarket which draws a crowd of bystanders as well as a local
news crew. the situation is tense. a clayton county detective and swat team member responds to the 911 call along with several dozen other cops. >> i could see his face, and my impression was that he very calm and that's not unusual for someone who has decided to commit suicide. often in a state of calmness that comes into play because they have made their decision. >> if getons wants to commit suicide, why does he stage such a spectacle in a public place? >> from what he had told the 911 dispatcher that he wanted the police to shoot him. most all police officers receive training in that phenomenon of suicide by cop. >> the officers negotiate, but getons wants police to shoot him. >> fortunately my career in 34 years in law enforcement i've never had to shoot someone, and the very first day in my entire career that i was faced with that possibility. my adrenaline was up simply from that perspective.
>> gettons isn't giving up, and police need to end the standoff before anyone gets hurt. they come up with a bold plan. >> the man had laid the gun down. one had picked it up again. the plan as the chief formulated it was the negotiator would talk the man into putting the gun down again. at that point we would try to take a shot. >> detective mccann braces himself. his finger was on the trigger and his eye is on the -- >> the field of vision is very narrow. i sighted on the gentleman initially. although we were there to take a shot on the weapon, the possibility alleges existed that we would have to take a shot on the individual. >> mccann hopes he doesn't have
to shoot him, but he is ready for whatever action he is ordered take. sfroo about an hour and 45 minutes into the negotiation the chief asked if we could take a shot. >> the gun is on the hook of the track like gettons within an arm's reach. >> that's when i received communication from the swat team to take a shot. >> a perfect shot. mcbegan shoots the gun off the hood of the truck. it flies 20 feet beyond the vehicle and lands on the ground. >> understanding my weapon, i lowered the crosshairs just slightly and fired at the weapon. i never heard the shot.
it's amazing because i wasn't wearing ear protection, and even though i was looking through the scope, i never saw the gun go off the truck. you focus so much on what you are doing that you block other things out. >> the swat team was moving towards him and then i realized -- >> just moments after police take gettons into custody, a local news crew captures mcbegan's reaction to his once in a lifetime shot. >> the way i fired, i fired right under the gun, so the round went into the car. there was never a chance of him being hit. i have good equipment. i have been trained well. we got a good swat team, and we had the people here today to make the right decision. >> gettons arrested and given a psychological evaluation. when police search his truck, they find a letter that states i
think about killing myself, but i don't seem to have the guts to do it. maybe i can get the police to shoot me and then this will all be over. gettons doesn't get his wish that day. he is convicted of reckless conduct and sentenced to three years probation. gettons dies almost six years later. he was 56 years old. captain mcbegan kept the handgun that he shot off the truck as a solemn reminder of that day. >> this is the handgun that mr. gettons had. it's a small cal bar .380. the gun at the point that i shot it was laying on the car in this position. the round struck the weapon in the downward angle. point of impact is right here, but the bullet after striking the handgun went into the engine compartment of the vehicle. >> mcbegan attributes the successful outcome of the standoff to his years of police
training. >> i derive great personal satisfaction from the fact that you work hard and keep practicing and you just develop skills that you do finally have a chance to use. >> coming up, a convenience store clerk fights for his life after getting stabbed in the neck. when "caught on ram ka, armed and dangerous" continues. hey! have an awesome vacation everyone! thank you so much!
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day toeba beach, florida. a place known for its sun, sand, and international speedway. like a lot of tourist hot spots, there's a seedy and dark underside. >> daytona attracts a lot of transient people, so along with the people that want to come here and enjoy daytona, we also have the criminal element. >> he moves from new york to daytona beach to get away from the cold. they are no protection against what happens on a beautiful summer day at the volero gas
station convenience store. >> right behind me and -- >> the knife-wielding robber quickly gains the upper hand. >> don't talk. don't move. if you move, i will cut you. >> holding him at knife point, the thief orders him to go behind the counter and open the cash register. >> he tries to stab me in the neck. i was totally out of mind. >> fearing for his life, he fights to pry the weapon from the thief's hand, but is unable. >> kicking me, punching me.
as the two men continue to brawl, is he stabbed in the neck. >> as the drawer opens, the thief takes about $500. knowing he has to act fast, he quietly reaches for a baseball bat in the corner. the thief catches him and then lunges at him before he request take a swing. as they continue to fight earnings drops the bat. in desperation, he grabs the back of the thief's neck with one hand and tries to push away the knife with the other. in a momentary stalemate he is able to pick the bat up off the floor, but the thief wrestles it away. >> he took that baseball, and he hit me in the head, neck, shoulder. everywhere.
he broke the counter. >> armed robbery, aggravated battery. he had been stabbed, beat erch. >> police secured the surveillance video from the seven cameras installed in this store. >> after we obtained the video, we let them know we had video on the website, and the news organization carried this on their evening news.
>> then we went to daytona. we went there, and he was there. >> shelling is shown the video and makes this surprising statement to police. >> yeah, that's me on the video. i don't remember doing any of this. >> shelling claims he doesn't remember robbing the store or stabbing the man. shelling claims he didn't take his med medication that day, but the video tape is vivid proof. >> the video is one of the best evidence. >> this is not the only time shelling is caught on a surveillance camera committing a crime. earlier that same day the surveillance video captures shelling robbing a kangaroo store in daytona beach. >> the clerk greets him with a
pleasantry and a smile. >> good morning. can you see the reaction from the clerk that she is scared. both the clerk at the kangaroo express store and hougin are lucky to have survived the robberies. the doctors who treat him tell him if the knife had gone any deeper, it could have killed him. >> if he had hit one of those major arteries, it would have been all over. then we would have been work aing homicide. >> charles shelling is convicted of robbery and aggravated assault in both cases. he is sentenced to 20 years. >> the video played a real important part in solve this crime, but there's a possibility that just with the description alone we may have caught this
guy anyway, but the video helped us tremendously. >> houdin counts his blessings every day. he goes back to work at the convenience store, though his children wish he would quit. >> he can find another job. >> houdin says he won't leave any time soon. he is grateful to have this job. at least for now. >> i -- differently. >> everything he gave me. >> being a victim of an armed robbery didn't deter houdin from returning to his job, and it didn't deter store manager karen smith or jewelry store owner barry fixler either. they all went back to their daily lives knowing that when they were faced with fear they
fought back. war caught on camera. correspondents in the heat of battle. >> i remember here ding, ding, ding, the bullets are hitting the side. >> troops recording the danger they face every day. >> my first instinct was that i just lost three soldiers in a vehicle. >> mi come on, fire. >> and declassified military video that stuns the world. >> in this hour troops from the frontlines to their front lawns. >> i think he remembers you.