On February 3, 1990, a Renton (Seattle area) man tried to commit
a robbery. This was probably his first attempt, as suggested by
his lack of a record of violent crime, and by his terminally stupid
1.The target was H&J Leather & Firearms, a gunshop;
2.The shop was full of customers, in a state where a substantial
fraction of the adult population is licensed to carry concealed
handguns in public places;
3.To enter the shop, he had to step around a marked King County
Police patrol car parked at the front door;
4.An officer in uniform was standing next to the counter, having
coffee before reporting to duty.
Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a holdup and
fired a few wild shots.
The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, removing him from the
Several other customers also drew their guns, but didn't fire.
No one else was hurt.