Derrell and Shemicka Johnson had never been robbed before.
Still, they kept a 9mm handgun on a desk at their cell phone store just in case.
“You never know when somebody’s going to try something,” Shemicka Johnson said.
The couple exchanged gunfire with 29-year-old Rashan Lateel Jordan during a robbery attempt Monday evening at the store, Expert Wireless, 3795 Mercer University Drive, as they were closing, according to Macon police.
Johnson, 26, said a man, later identified as Jordan, walked in about 6:40 p.m., asking questions about phones.
He pulled out a short handgun, saying, “ ‘You know what time it is,’ ’’ she said.
Johnson was standing behind her husband. Both of them were behind the counter.
“I just grabbed it,” she said about the gun the couple keeps on a desk behind the counter.
Then she began firing.
“He wasn’t expecting to be fired back at,” she said.
The Johnsons sought cover near the desk as Jordan returned fire. Johnson kept shooting.
Her husband grabbed the gun at one point and also fired shots at the would-be bandit, she said.
At least two bullets fired by Jordan narrowly missed the couple. Bullet holes in the store counter served as a reminder Tuesday of how close the Johnsons came to injury — or death.
“I was scared,” Johnson said. “I was thinking, ‘I don’t want to die.’
“You never would think something like that would happen,” she said.
Between husband and wife, 18 shots were fired.
Jordan retreated into a back room behind the counter during the shootout, and the Johnsons escaped out the front door, she said.
Jordan was shot in multiple places, according to a police report.
Minutes later Jordan rushed out and shot into crowds of people. He drove off, still shooting, according to the police report.
Due to his injuries, Jordan later struck a curb on Mercer University Drive and was taken to The Medical Center of Central Georgia, where he was listed in critical condition Tuesday, according to Macon police.
Jordan will be charged upon his release from the hospital, said Jami Gaudet, spokeswoman for the Macon police.
While the Johnsons’ actions may appear to have been just, police caution other businesses or business owners about a similar response.
“This kind of action may embolden the next person,” Gaudet said, explaining that another bandit may be more aggressive from the outset and prepared for resistance in the wake of Monday’s episode.
Police urge employees to comply with a robber’s demands. A life is more valuable than anything that can be taken in a robbery, Gaudet said.
Johnson said she counts herself lucky.
No customers were in the store at the time, and no one was injured.
Police later told her that Jordan had zip ties in his pockets, she said. “It was just wild,” Derrell Johnson said.
Derrell Johnson said about $2,000 was sitting on the desk at the time of the robbery. While the money is missing, he said he’s not sure whether Jordan took it or whether the cash got lost in the shuffle.
Shemicka Johnson said she and her husband opened the store about two months ago.
While the store was open Tuesday, the Johnsons referred customers to their other locations on Log Cabin and Shurling drives. Those stores have security cameras, Shemicka Johnson said. The Mercer University Drive store does not.
“We’ll get it installed sooner rather than later,” she said.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.