A customer standing in line at an east side Indianapolis auto parts store shot a suspected armed robber demanding cash, police said.
Investigators said John Perry fired his handgun and struck Carlos Ortiz, 21, in the leg at the Auto Zone in the 1100 block of North Arlington Avenue Saturday.
Indianapolis metro police spokeswoman Catherine Cummings said it’s unusual for an alleged robber to become a victim in his own crime.
"This is a rare occurrence, and I would encourage anyone who finds themselves in a position where a robbery may be occurring to actually comply with what the suspect is asking for. This is not typical. However, in this particular situation, it seems to have worked out for everyone involved,” Cummings said.
Police arrested Ortiz near the store a short time after the shooting. He was taken to the hospital in good condition.
Some customers had different opinions on Perry’s actions, 6News' Rick Hightower reported.
"I think it's terrible, I really do. I don't think people should be allowed to carry guns," one customer said.
"I say good going," another customer said.
"I'm certainly not second guessing anything (Perry) was trying to do; however, I would encourage people to maintain (their) own safety,” Cummings said.
The store manager said a window was shot out in the front of the store by Perry who reportedly fired more than one shot at Ortiz.
Customer Sharon Mabeeward was in the store just prior to the robbery and had a hard time believing how Perry reacted.
"(Perry) should have called the police. I don't think it’s right for people to carry all these guns. It's a crazy world," Mabreeward said.
Customer Andrew Clayton disagreed.
"I say there should be more people like (Perry). People want to come in and rob your neighborhood auto parts store, well, luckily there was someone in line to prevent that, now wasn't there?" he said.
Clayton said not everyone should be carrying weapons, but that in this particular case, it worked.
"Everyone's life was in jeopardy, and that guy took it upon himself to save everyone else's lives. I think in a way he did good. I don't see much bad to it and as long as the guy was licensed to have his weapon, I think that's what they are there for,” Clayton said.
Saturday’s incident wasn’t Ortiz’s first run-in with the law. He was charged with robbery before in 2008, police said.
IMPD said the case would be presented to the prosecutor, but for now no charges were being filed against Perry.
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