Clerk Jon Lewis Alexander, a 54-year-old military veteran, knows how to protect his liquor store.
Alexander was working at Beer 30 on Sunday in Marionville, Mo., when a man came through the door smoking a cigarette.
He then told the man that smoking was not allowed inside.
“He just took another puff and looked me dead in the eyes, like he was Billy Badass,” Alexander said.
The thief came to the counter, saying, "You need to give me all your [expletive] money."
A surveillance camera shows "Billy Badass" raising his pistol, but Alexander is a quicker draw. The veteran covered the man's gun with one hand, and then swung a pistol of his own into the mouth of the would-be crook.
“You need to get the [expletive] out of here before I blow your [expletive] head off,” Alexander told him. The robber backed away and went out the door.
Alexander's background in high-risk situations, including four tours in Iraq and a previous job as a corrections officer, allowed him to keep his cool, he said.
“I’ve been around weapons and been around danger a lot,” he said. “It didn’t really bug me that much.”
His cool may have saved himself and the gunman. Alexander said he did not shoot the gunman because he never pointed the gun at him, and because he was able to keep the gun away.
“I couldn’t see shooting the man if he couldn’t shoot me,” Alexander said.
Jeannine Dawson, the owner of Beer 30, said she hired Alexander four months ago. She knew about his background, but was still in awe when she saw the surveillance tape.
“I was like, ‘Holy [expletive],’” Dawson said. “That’s awesome.”