Man who shot at bandit: ‘I wasn’t going to let him shoot me’

lcorley@macon.comAugust 23, 2014 

armedrobbery

A Bibb County deputy sheriff keeps an eye on what BSO said was the get away car in a robbery at the GameStop at Eisenhower Crossroads.

BEAU CABELL — bcabell@macon.com Buy Photo

The guy toting the black duffel bag walked in casual as could be.

Calm -- almost too calm.

When he stepped into the west Macon Game Stop Thursday afternoon, he said something about being in the wrong store.

Then he changed his mind.

No, he said, it was the right place.

Customer Tim Jackson was buying a $6 video game when the guy with the duffel reached inside and pulled out an assault rifle.

The alleged gunman, Javon Glen Britton, a 34-year-old career criminal from California, ordered everyone in the video-game shop face-down on the floor, witnesses would say later.

Jackson, a Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare worker, was on vacation. He was out shopping, trying to relax.

But here came the gunman with the rifle aimed at Jackson’s face, telling the four people in the store to hurry up before he emptied his clip.

“Most people say they see their lives flash before their eyes,” Jackson, 29, said Friday. “The only thing that was flashing before me was my wife and kid.”

Britton grabbed at his victims’ back pockets and never raised his voice when he told them to give up their cash and drop their phones, Jackson said.

Another customer along with Jackson and the two store employees did what they were told.

“It was like it was second nature to him,” Jackson said. “He was stupid-calm. That’s what scared me the most.”

A clerk forked over the money in the register.

Before cramming the rifle back in the duffle, Britton said, “Thanks,” a Bibb County sheriff’s report noted.

The robber was so quiet that the store manager, on his break in a back room, didn’t even know there’d been a stickup until the gunman was gone.

When the bandit went to leave, witnesses said he strolled out as if nothing had happened.

A clerk then called 911.

A customer dove for his cellphone and did the same.

Jackson, who used to work security at Academy Sports, knew it might help police if he could read the license plate on the gunman’s getaway car. So he bolted outside.

According to the sheriff’s report, Jackson grabbed his 9mm pistol from his car and raced down a sidewalk to the Radio Shack.

Britton had just hopped into the driver’s seat of a green BMW bearing California plates, Jackson said. A woman was in the passenger seat.

Jackson, about 10 feet from the car, locked eyes with the robber.

“He had that look like, ‘Oh, snap! It’s you!’ and he reached in between the seats,” Jackson said. “I wasn’t going to let him shoot me.”

Jackson fired seven shots into the car as it raced toward a 6-foot embankment and crashed.

“I scared the hell out of them,” Jackson said. “But I checked first to see there weren’t any people around before I pulled the trigger.”

All four of the BMW’s tires were shredded in the wreck. The car limped across a parking lot and stopped in front of a furniture store a few hundred yards from the Game Stop.

Britton and his passenger surrendered after deputies closed in at the Presidential Parkway shopping center, not far from Eisenhower Parkway and Interstate 475.

Both Britton and the passenger were later charged with armed robbery.

Britton, a Sacramento native, has been in and out of California prisons nine times since he was 18 -- four times for convictions and five for parole violations.

A state prison spokesman there Friday said Britton was convicted of grand theft in 1999, drug possession in 2003, assault with a firearm in 2005 and a check-passing charge in 2011.

Britton was most recently paroled in June 2013 and currently was on probation, the spokesman said.

Had Jackson not stepped outside after the holdup Thursday, Jackson said, “they would have probably gotten away and robbed someone else.”

Jackson was chatting with neighbors at his east Macon home Friday afternoon.

Until Friday, he hadn’t smoked a cigarette in two years.

Recalling the previous day’s events, he told The Telegraph that he’d gotten his gun and his license to carry it about five years ago when he learned his wife was pregnant, with the hope he would never have to use the gun.

“I haven’t quit shaking,” he said. “All I’ve heard is, ‘You’re a good Samaritan,’ but I don’t feel like it.”

Telegraph writer Joe Kovac Jr. contributed to this report. To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4382.

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