Man tried to hold up a gas station, but one customer had a gun, Missouri sheriff says

Elijah D. Carter, 26, of Kansas City, Missouri
Elijah D. Carter, 26, of Kansas City, Missouri Cooper County Sheriff's Office

A customer in central Missouri said he saw a man trying to rob a store, so he went home and came back with a gun to intervene, authorities said.

It ended with one person getting arrested.

The customer, Jim Hayes, told KOMU he went to an Eagle Stop gas station in Boonville to buy some cigarettes on Friday night.

The Cooper County Sheriff's Office later spoke with the customer, who said he saw a man inside the store acting "suspicious," so he stayed around the area to watch his next move.

Then the man allegedly went up to the cash register and demanded money. The man had a small knife and hammer, KOMU reported, citing a witness statement.

But Hayes stepped in.

"When the suspect approached the register and began to demand the money, the patron was able to intervene with his concealed firearm and held the suspect in the store until law enforcement arrived," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Facebook.

The suspect was identified by the Sheriff's Office as Elijah D. Carter, 26, of Kansas City. Carter has since been charged with first-degree attempted robbery, armed criminal action, unlawful use of a weapon and receiving stolen property. He remained in the county jail Tuesday with bail set at $150,000.

Several Facebook commenters have praised Hayes' actions since the arrest, including one woman who identified herself as a family member of an employee working at the Eagle Stop.

"We are so glad that someone took the time to pay attention and decided to return and help our daughter out.. she was very scared," she wrote. "So thank you once again to the citizen and the BPD for their help getting this taken care of quickly.."

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