How I killed a man.

     I had just turned nineteen years old seven years have passed since my life nearly lost, and changed forever. I was in the middle of my first semester of college, and like many others, I was working to keep my debt as lows as possible. I was a manager at a drugstore, I loved it. The work was easy compared to my high school job of bagging groceries and withing a few month I was promoted to a key holder. This mean that I was responsible for opening and closing the store a few days a week. I was happy, studies were going  well, and the extra money was great.

     Like other workplaces, we had robbery protocols we were to comply with all demands I never thought much of it, just something that they are required to tell you. I brushed the five-minute training video out of my mind and went on with my life.

     About a month after I was promoted I was working the evening shift. A cashier and I were the only employees left in the store along with a few other customers. Everything was great, I remember we were talking about an upcoming football game when a white man in jeans and a dirty tan shirt came running in the store over to my register where the two of us were talking.I didn’t even realize the gun pointed in my face at first, I was startled by the way the man had run right up to us. By the time I finally came to my senses and realized what was happening I just lost all hearing, time seemed to stand still. I remember looking down that barrel, everything seemed to just stand perfectly still. I couldn’t hear what was being screamed at me.

     By the time I had fully composed myself I realized that the man was wanting the money. I had no intention of playing here, I wanted him gone, I wanted this to all be a horrible dream. I was not going fast enough because the next thing I hear is the loudest explosion. The man had fired just to the side of me. My cashier had ducked under the counter, and as he began to point the gun back at me I lunged forward. I was behind the counter and did not even hear the shots go off. I was simply fighting for my life at this point. When I had a good grip I had pulled the gun towards me bringing him leaning over the counter. Everything happened in a matter of just a few seconds, and when it was done, he was leaning over my counter, with a hole in his head. I had blood all over me, I remember just being in shock, I couldn’t see all that well. It took a few moments for the pain to come, but when arrived, it felt like nothing I had ever experienced before.

     I ended up collapsing a few feet away from my registers, I remember my cashier running towards me as well as being in a white box with two people. I later found out that the white box was an ambulance. When I arrived at the hospital I was unconscious, I had lost too much blood. By all accounts, I should not be able to write this. I should have died that night. I had been shot twice, once in my abdomen, and once in my chest. The one in my chest punctured my right lung and had broken pieces of one of my ribs off. I ended up having three surgeries. After over a month in the hospital, I was able to walk around and move. You never realize just how draining it can be walking around a small room until you are in that situation. A few weeks later I was released.

     This was not the end of my ordeal, though. I had to talk to the police on multiple occasions, sometimes while I was still in the hospital. I needed years of psychiatric therapy, and I did not go back to school for almost two years. I closed myself off from the world, I had earned my scars. When I finally did go back to college, I realized it was time for me to get a job. I found some clerical work for our local library and did that until I graduated in 2014.

     I am sharing this not to entertain, but to inform. I was ill prepared when he came into my store, and I almost died because of it. When you are in that situation, you have no time to react, no guidelines to follow, and no sense of time. You are simply there, and the gun is there with you. Nothing can prepare you, but you can do your best to remain calm. To all retail employees be safe, I know the daily struggles, I know the conversations and gossip. I also know firsthand the dangers. Just be safe.