Business owner talks to WAVE 3 after shooting thief - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Business owner talks to WAVE 3 after shooting thief

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Image from surveillance video inside M & I Smoke shop Image from surveillance video inside M & I Smoke shop
Scene outside M & I Smoke Shop on Oct. 21 Scene outside M & I Smoke Shop on Oct. 21
Richard Murphy Richard Murphy

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Friday night, a Louisville business owner took matters into his own hands and shot a man as he storms in and demands cash. The robbery suspect, who is recovering at University Hospital after being shot in the leg, will be going straight to jail when he leaves the hospital facing robbery and several other charges.

"He told me give me all your money or I kill you," the business owner who didn't want to be identified said in a WAVE 3 News exclusive.

The owner of M & I Smoke Shop feared for his life but wasn't going to give up without a fight.

"I know it's very dangerous to take that situation to take the gun," the owner said.

But the owner said the right moment allowed for that.

"He tried to move the gun from right to left and I try to get the gun and then I shoot him," the owner said.

The events all unfolded on camera. Surveillance video shows the man reaching for cash and in the process seems to take his attention off the weapon. That's when the store owner immediately grabs the gun and fires a shot while the robber then tries to run away.

"I was very afraid because I don't know where I shoot him," the business owner said. "I hope I shoot him in leg or something."

The suspect, 28-year-old John. R. Hatton, tried to run, but collapsed in pain. It all happened in just a matter of seconds. As he lay bleeding on the floor, Hatton reached into his pocket. That left the smoke shop owner again fearing for the worst.

"He said, ‘no, I want to call my wife,'" the owner said.

While the suspect did that, the store owner called 911. 

Police say the store security video helps them in their investigation. Security is a major concern, that's why there are several cameras on at all times inside the business.

The owner is also installing iron bars across his windows. That kind of business has been putting money in Richard Murphy's pockets for 20 years.

"Business is actually increasing for me at the expense of others unfortunately," Murphy said.

The store owner sais it all happened so fast that all he could think about was seeing his wife and four young kids.

"People like this take the money and then they kill you," the owner said. "So I said I'm dead already so let me control myself enough to do something not just for me, but for my kids and for my wife."

The smoke shop owner isn't expected to face charges. He said Hatton robbed the business so he could feed his wife and kids.

Hatton was shot in the leg and is expected to be okay. He has previously faced misdemeanor charges for things like drug possession.

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