No charges filed against vigilante who shot and killed robbery suspect in South Carolina Waffle House
Image: Waffle House parking lot at night (Flickr Creative Commons)

Police in Charleston, South Carolina declined to press any charges against a Waffle House customer who shot and killed a man who was reportedly trying to rob the restaurant.

According to the WCSC Channel 5, police say 19-year-old Joshua Jermaine Davis of North Charleston entered the Waffle House restaurant on Dorchester Road shortly after 5 a.m. Saturday morning and pulled a gun on the staff, demanding money.

The Charleston Post and Dispatch said that a customer opened fire on Davis. Emergency responders rushed the would-be robber to Medical University Hospital where he died of his injuries.

North Charleston Police spokeswoman Lt. Angela Johnson told Channel 5 that the customer had a valid permit to carry a pistol and that officers will not be pressing any charges.

The Post and Dispatch quoted an officer at the scene as saying, "It says something about firearms...for good people with firearms being in the right hands.”

Fortunately for bystanders and restaurant personnel the situation did not turn out like a vigilante intervention in a carjacking that took place last month in Houston, Texas.

In that incident, an armed bystander attempted to stop a carjacking, but shot the car owner in the head by mistake.

Even trained police officers who are rigorously drilled in gun safety only hit their intended targets 30 percent of the time when discharging their weapons in the line of duty.

An Iraq War veteran who was armed on the day of the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon earlier this month explained that drawing a weapon and opening fire in an active shooter situation can do more harm than good.

"(W)e could have opened ourselves up to be potential targets ourselves, and not knowing where SWAT was, their response time, they wouldn’t know who we were," said veteran John Parker. "And if we had our guns ready to shoot, they could think that we were bad guys.”