Combat veteran brings knife to gun fight and wins - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Combat veteran brings knife to gun fight and wins

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JEFFERSON COUNTY -- A Mt. Vernon man, suddenly and shockingly turns the tables on his would-be attacker after pulling a knife and chasing the man out of Times Square Liquor.

Best of all, the whole thing got caught on camera.

"I thought it was just one of the regulars you know just playing a joke on me," said cashier and Vietnam veteran Robert Carroll.

But Carroll quickly found out, the man pointing a gun at his face wasn't joking around.

"He kept insisting that I give him the money out of the drawer and waving the gun around like this," added Carroll.

Unfazed, Carroll took action pulling a knife on the man police identified as 26-year-old Callie Buchanan.

"I could see it wasn't a real gun and that it was a starter pistol with an orange plug on the end of it," added Carroll.

That's when Carroll realized he had the upper hand.

"I was going forward but this is as far as I could get you know so he backed up and that's when I started going around the counter and he headed for the door," said Carroll.

It was that quick action by Carroll chasing Buchanan down the aisle and out the door that was captured by the stores security cameras which helped lead to Buchanan's arrest just a few minutes later in the Walmart parking lot.

Touted as a hero by his boss and viewed as crazy by others, Carroll says he never would have pulled the knife if Buchanan were holding a real gun.

"But I knew the gun wasn't real so I took my action," explained Carroll.

Action Carroll says wouldn't have to happen if people wouldn't rob stores.

"Somebody could get hurt, especially if I would've had a gun on me then I probably would've shot him and then I'd have to live with that on my conscience," added Carroll.

Now approaching a week with nobody pointing a gun in his face, has Carroll back to his normal life aside from a lot of messages from friends and family.

"Some people think I'm crazy for bringing a knife to a gun fight and others say I'm a hero and I ain't neither one I guarantee you," joked Carroll.

One thing you can guarantee Robert Carroll isn't going down without a fight. 

After the incident Carroll helped Mt. Vernon police identify Buchanan, who sits in the Jefferson County Jail tonight, on $75,000 bond.

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