When New Hampshire gas station clerk Shannon "Bear" Cothran pulled out his handgun to stop a robber Monday morning, little did he know the action that may have saved his life would cost him his job.
According to a Nashua Telegraph report, Cothran was fired by the Shell station's owners a few hours after the incident for violating a "no guns" policy for employees.
Around 3 a.m. Monday, a robber entered the gas station and approached Cothran while waving a knife.
“He had the knife cocked back. It looked like he was going to stab me,” Cothran told the Telegraph. “I took several steps back, produced my sidearm, and informed him it was a bad idea and he didn’t want to do it, and he left.”
After the incident, Cothran filed a report with his employer, Nouria Energy, but was fired only hours later, despite the efforts of the store manager and a district manager to save his job.
The robber has yet to be found. Nashua police described the suspect as a white or Hispanic male, between 6 feet and 6 feet, 2 inches tall, with a medium build. The robber also left behind a black and gray Coleman jacket with a red collar.
Anyone with information on the attempted robbery is asked to call the Nashua police Criminal Investigation Division at 603-594-3500 or the Nashua Crimeline at 603-589-1665.
While Cothran isn't worried about finding another job, he feels the no-gun policy is misguided.
“I can find another job,” he said. “A paycheck’s a paycheck. I don’t really care where it comes from. I cannot justify in my mind trying to save my job at the risk of not ever seeing my family and friends again.”
In a statement, Nouria Energy said:
"Make no mistake: We care about the personal well-being of employees like Mr. Cothran, whose years of service are truly appreciated — not about the money in the cash register. So, we are especially grateful that this situation was resolved without injury."
"We do respect the constitutional right to bear arms. However, we believe the best way to keep our employees and customers safe is to prohibit weapons in the workplace."