Shannon Cothran, a clerk at a Shell station in Nashua, N.H., just wanted to get home to his family. So when a knife-wielding intruder came rushing into his store, he didn't hesitate to draw his Ruger pistol to make sure he didn't end up in a "hospital bed or a coffin."
Cothran's decision to protect his life cost him the job he's held for 10 years.
The clerk told WBZ-TV that a man, wearing a mask and heavy clothes, rushed into his store with a knife at around 3 a.m. on Monday and threatened his life. He immediately drew his pistol to ward off the suspected robber. His version of events is backed up by surveillance footage that captured the entire incident.
“He just said, alright, alright and backed off and made his way out the door," he recalled.
Cothran had a good reason to keep his pistol on him too. There have reportedly been upwards of 15 robberies targeting convenience stores in Nashua recently. He said it was obvious it was "just a matter of time" before he was targeted.
Even though he has a valid New Hampshire permit to carry his Ruger pistol, Cothran was still fired for violating the company policy that prohibits him from carrying it at the store.
"I knew exactly what I was doing I made a conscious choice to protect my life and put myself in a situation where I would have to find new employment," he said.
He may be out of a job now, but he says he has no regrets about what he did.
"I really don’t feel that I did anything this noteworthy. I just wanted to get home to my family, that’s it," Cothran added. "I would rather find a new job than either be in a hospital bed or in a coffin."
Nashua Police Lt. Denis Linehan said the "clerk acted appropriately" when he was confronted with a deadly weapon.
Police are still looking for the suspect. Cothran is still looking for another job.