Armed citizens foil robbery attempt

(GILMER COUNTY, Ga.) — Not one, but three armed citizens were able to disarm a robbery suspect attempting to hold up a gas station at gunpoint in North Georgia.

When a customer saw 39-year-old Shawn Sutton pull a gun on the clerk at the Ideal Mart in Ellijay, he pulled his own weapon. A second customer then retrieved his gun from his vehicle to assist, and both were able to disarm Sutton. When he tried to escape, a third customer pumping gas came inside with his gun and all three were able to hold him until police arrived.

Ellijay Police Chief Edward Lacey says an East Ellijay Police officer and one of his own officers arrived within six minutes.

“Six minutes can be forever, and these citizens that we have here are self-reliant and decided they’re not going to be victims. And fortunately, they were able to assist us and help us in a way that didn’t put anybody in danger,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.

Even with officers on the scene, Sutton still tried to escape and had to be tased before handcuffs could be placed on him.

His wife, 39-year-old Melody Sutton, was also arrested waiting in their vehicle outside.

Both face charges of armed robbery, while he also faces charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Lacey in total 25 law enforcement personnel responded to the scene including those from the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia State Patrol.

“Just a really good example of coordinated police effort. Everybody helping people out from the citizens all the way up to the law enforcement response,” says Lacey.

All three men are expected to receive awards for their efforts.

Sandra Parrish

Sandra Parrish

News Anchor Reporter for political, legislative, transportation, and educational news.

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