Circle K clerk Jennifer Wertz was working on Sept. 18 when a customer came in and told her there was something suspicious going on nearby. Thinking that she needed to take some precautions, Wertz went to her car to retrieve her handgun. Moments later, an armed robber, later identified as Ferron Mendez, entered the store. Wertz shot the would-be robber in the chest, according to KRQE.
[Scroll Down For Video]
After the shooting, Circle K placed the mother of three on administrative leave for two weeks before firing her. Wertz tried to argue her firing claiming she was defending herself. “I’m sick and tired of being a sitting duck,” she told Fox6.
“Robberies have been going on like this for the past few weeks. They have done nothing to protect me. And I felt the need to protect myself,” Wertz added.
Despite her appeal, her employer wouldn’t budge, stating employees are not allowed to have weapons in the store.
Wertz told Fox News explained the company’s policy if an armed robber enters the store and demands money. “We are not to chase,” Wertz explained. “We are not to provoke. We are not to do anything. We just stand there and give them what they want and they leave.”
Wertz wasn’t thinking about the store’s policy when the man entered her store brandishing a firearm and demanding money from the till. She was thinking about her children.
“What if he would have come in and just shot me just because I wasn’t behind the counter?” Wertz said as she fought back tears.
Mendez, 23, is expected to fully recover.
After the media ran the story, many were angered that Wertz was fired for simply protecting herself. When it was discovered that Wertz’ mother had created a GoFundMe page, the donations came pouring in.
“She won’t ask for help herself, so I’m doing this for her,” the donation page reads. “She has always been a good person, mom and daughter. She is in need of dire help to support her family. She was already living pay check to pay check and now has no savings or nothing to fall back on. Please help as much as you can to support her and her family until she can find a new job.”
The page was created a day after the shooting and has amassed over $60,000 for Wertz and her family.