Armed Pharmicist stops robbery and saves livesby Nancy
Fearing for life, pharmacist kills gunman
Just before walking into Babcock Square Pharmacy, the gunman lurked suspiciously around the parking lot Wednesday morning even moving his car several times before making his move.
Carole Ann Aguirre, manager of the neighboring Martha's Mexican Restaurant, said the white Honda lingered enough that her grandson, Christopher, mistook it as that of a relative's and walked up to it.
He opened the car door and thought it was his uncle, Aguirre said. But he saw the man had a bandana around his face and was wearing rubber gloves, so he came back in and told us what happened.
Aguirre's son-in-law, Charlie Rojas, called police shortly before 10 a.m. to report the suspicious person. But before Rojas could hang up, the gunman had moved his car once more, this time parking it near the pharmacy at Babcock and Huebner roads.
Esmeralda Rodriguez, who was walking to her job next door at Natural Health Improvement Center, remembers seeing the light-blue surgical gloves the stranger wore. But, she didn't think more of it as she walked into the health center.
About 10 minutes later, Rodriguez heard two loud noises coming from the pharmacy. Moments later, the pharmacy owner's wife, 60-year-old Patricia Wynn, ran into the health center in hysterics.
She was so stunned; she just kept saying, We almost got robbed,' Rodriguez said.
The stranger who had been loitering in the parking lot had walked into the pharmacy carrying a black revolver and a note demanding the narcotic drug OxyContin and some money, according to authorities.
Once inside, the gunman handed the note to a clerk behind the counter, Police Chief William McManus said. The clerk was one of three people inside the pharmacy at the time of the robbery attempt. The others were the pharmacy owner, 62-year-old Bill Wynn, and his wife.
The details about what happened next are unclear, but McManus said the clerk was able to inform the pharmacy owner of the attempted robbery. Wynn, who had been robbed before, somehow managed to arm himself with a gun.
That's when McManus said the robber uttered his last words: Let's get it on.
Police said Wynn reacted quickly, shooting the gunman in the chest.
I was scared to death, Wynn later said, declining to comment further.
Police arrived to find the gunman, whose identity wasn't released Wednesday, lying on his back in a pool of blood. In his right hand was a cocked revolver.
McManus said Wynn wouldn't face any charges in connection with the shooting.
He was in fear (for) his life, the chief said. He has a right and state law allows him to defend himself.
The dead man wasn't immediately identified, so his relatives couldn't be reached for information.
Wednesday's pharmacy shooting became the third justifiable homicide of the year for San Antonio, not including a shooting death May 17 that's still being investigated as possible self-defense. The number, however, is half of what it was at this time in 2008, a year the city's justified homicide rate jumped significantly from previous years.
Wynn's wife said it's not uncommon for pharmacists to keep guns.
A lot of pharmacies do, but we carry one because we have been robbed before, she said without elaborating.
One of their employees, Maria Martinez, said it's been years since the pharmacy last was robbed.
Lindsay Simpkins, a cashier at Martha's Mexican Restaurant, said no one suspected the pharmacy owner a man with a strong sense of humor to fatally shoot anyone.
The pharmacy was closed the remainder of the day.
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