A quiet East Texas morning was ended with a gunshot on Tuesday at a convenience store when a 75-year-old Syrian army veteran shot and wounded a would-be robber.
22-year-old Mathew Johnson of Mineola, Texas, walked in the store to asked to use the restroom. He then left and is seen returning a few minutes later with a mask over his face and allegedly a gun in his hand.
He reportedly demanded money from Itidal “Mama” Fatayri, the owners wife, who was behind the cash register. He came to the counter, and the owner, 75 year old Fahed “Papa” Fatayri said “I’ll get for you.” He then walked a couple of steps behind the counter, grabbing his .38.
Fatayri said robber threatened “I’ll shoot your wife” and turned to flee. With Fatayri shooting first, Johnson then limped out the front door. Terrell Police were already on the way.
Getting out of the front door of the convenience store with a single .38 bullet wound to his backside was not the end of the story.
Terrell Police Capt. A.D. Sansom picks up the story from there, telling KDFW/Fox4 the story, “Our officers were already on the way.” Sansom says that Johnson walked about a block, got in his 2009 Chevrolet, and started to make a getaway. Johnson led police in a high speed pursuit down US Highway 80 at speeds approaching 120 miles an hour.
Terrell Police were joined in the chase by Kaufman and Van Zandt County Sheriff’s deputies. Police in Wills Point and DPS Troopers also joined the pursuit. He screamed through downtown Wills Point and made it another four miles down Highway 80 when he lost control of his car and hit the bar ditch. The car flipped over the west bound lanes several times, and he was ejected.
Johnson was medevacked to Baylor hospital in Dallas. As of Friday morning, he was still listed in critical but stable condition.
Capt. Sansom says that the critical injuries were from the car wreck, and not from a single gunshot wound to the buttocks. Johnson is charged with aggravated robbery.
The Captain also acknowledges that this is the second shooting at this same convenience store. The first happened shortly after Fatayri bought the store in 1997. Fatayri says this is the third robbery for the store. His wife was robbed one day when he wasn’t there.
Rob Milford is a news contributor to Breitbart Texas. You can follow him on Facebook.