CORRECTION, Dec. 11, 2023: The would-be robber put a block in the jewelry store door to keep it open, according to AL.com. An earlier version of this article said it was a different person.
A jewelry store owner successfully defended his store from a would-be robber with apparent Christmas cheer on Wednesday evening in Gardendale, Alabama.
He saw a woman enter his store with a face mask and coat on and he stated, “I knew then what was happening.”
She promptly put a block in the door to keep it open. “I knew then what was happening,’’ Dennis told the outlet, “so I drew my weapon.”
He recalled the woman allegedly telling him, “Happy holidays.”
“I don’t want to hurt y’all, but I am [going to],” the aspiring robber added.
The woman proceeded to hit Dennis with bear spray, but he was able to step aside of the substance and shot her in the shoulder.
Dennis added, “I did what I had to do to protect my store and my employees.”
While Dennis was not injured, he did explain how potent bear spray can be.
“If you’ve ever been around bear spray but it’s so toxic,’’ Dennis added. “Within seconds, we were burning, couldn’t hardly see, coughing.
“It’s still in here today and I had a professional cleanup crew come last night.”
“It’s still in our throats and we’re having to wipe down everything with soap and water and throw away a lot of stuff,’’ he continued.
Dennis added: “It’s pretty brutal.”
Suspect Heather Denise Wright, 32, has since been charged with “three counts of first-degree robbery and three counts of criminal use of defense spray,” AL.com reported in a follow-up story.
Update: here is the mugshot of Heather Denise Wright, charged with 3 counts of robbery and 3 counts of criminal use of defense spray against the owner of Jeff Dennis Jewelers. Source: Gardendale Police Dpt pic.twitter.com/yZLYTuVdHP
— Olivianna Calmes WBRC (@OliviannaC) December 8, 2023
The outlet reported Wright has an extensive criminal history, as she remains hospitalized for injuries sustained from the Wednesday incident.
Wright will be booked into the Jefferson County Jail after she leaves the hospital and bond will be set at $90,000.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.