Shannon “Bear” Cothran lives a quiet life in Nashua, New Hampshire. He used to work at a Shell gas station at 301 Main Street in Nashua. He had that job until the day of the robbery.
It was like any other night at the gas station for Cothran. In walks the lone male robber brandishing a knife and demanding money. Cothran was well prepared and pulled out his Ruger LCP 380 pistol. The robber turned around and walked out the door making this one of the shortest robberies on record.
Cothran has always believed in the decision to carry, but the owners of that gas station took a much different view. Cothran was fired only a few hours after the attempted robbery took place for violating the company’s policy forbidding any clerk from carrying a gun.
Now out of a job, Cothran said he feels the company policy is irresponsible, but with a grandson on the way, he stands by his decision to carry a firearm for protection.
“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 Cothran’s boss’ defense, the store manager and a district manager of the Nouria Energy owned station lobbied to save his job. Unfortunately, he still lost his job hours later.
Police were able to confirm the eye witness accounts via video camera. Surveillance shows the robber entering the store around 3 a.m. It ws seen that the man waved the knife around, and promptly walked away when the clerk pulled out his .380.
“He had the knife cocked back. It looked like he was going to stab me,” Cothran said. “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.”
What makes matters worse is that the authorities have been combating a rise in robberies in the area. In Gate City alone the Cumberland Farms, Jeannotte’s Market, the Subway on Main Street, and the 7-Eleven have all been targeted. Some stores have changed their closing times to 8 p.m. Cothran had worked as an employee for Nouria Energy for ten years.
In the case of Monday morning’s robbery, Officer Linehan said it appears the clerk took appropriate action when he was threatened. He said police encourage anyone who carries a firearm to undergo safety training.
“The first thing that we want to make sure is that people are safe,” he said. “In this situation, the clerk was presented with a deadly weapon. He was in close proximity to the suspect when the deadly weapon was displayed to him. The clerk, from the information I have, took the appropriate action in terms of how he felt threatened, in presenting the firearm.”
Police are still looking for the suspect, and have circulated photos of him throughout the community.