Legally Armed Customer Ends Violent Assault of Starbucks Employee

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Starbucks wants no part of legal concealed carry. The chain has made headlines in the last few years as they have tightened their stance on armed customers. Will an attack on one of their own employees change corporate hive-minds? Unlikely. How the attack on the employee came to an end, though, deserves some attention.

A man in his 60s was in a Utah Starbucks when another man came in and attacked a barista. The assault happened fast, and the perpetrator then turned to the 60-year-old. That man was legally carrying a concealed handgun. He drew it and shot the attacker once in the chest.

“He witnessed the assault against the clerk,” UPD Detective Ken Hansen said. “And his response, because apparently after the assault the guy came after him, and so he shot the man in the chest.”

Benjamin Scott Overall, 37, was shot once in the chest. Overall had “set off a panic alarm around 6 a.m. Oct. 4 inside a 7-Eleven store in Millcreek, a suburb of Salt Lake City,” Fox writes. “A responding officer approached Overall, who then allegedly fled to a nearby Starbucks.”

The officers pursuing Overall were not fast enough to stop the attack inside Starbucks.

He ran inside the Starbucks and punched the employee. He attacked her from behind, and hit her with a metal basket. When she fell, he began kicking her.

“She couldn’t get away from him, and he continued to strike her on her head, face, neck and shoulders,” the police report says.

“He just came in the door and … hit me in the back of the head from behind,” Shelby Hamilton, 24 told reporters. “I was the first one he saw.”

The other employees didn’t come to her aid, either. “They were all just kind of stammering around. And once I got down to the ground I think is when they ran out the door asking for help,” Hamilton said.

What happened next is unclear. It is likely that the customer with the gun confronted Overall, as police report that Overall “aggressively approached” him. The customer then shot Overall once, in the chest, ending the attack.

“I give kudos to the guy who shot the man in the chest,” a man who works at a restaurant beside the Starbucks told reporters.

The man who shot Overall was questioned after the incident, but not charged.

“I never would have expected that from him,” Hamilton said. “He just seemed like a very meek guy. So I was surprised, but also very grateful. I was very grateful that he was there. And I was glad it was somebody we see regularly so that hopefully, in the future, I can thank him.”

Overall was charged with aggravated assault and criminal trespass. He remains hospitalized.

As for Starbucks, and the fact that a legal concealed carry holder stopped an attack inside one of their stores? No comment.