MABLETON, Ga. -- The owner of a gun shop who shot back against two armed suspects is speaking out after the incident, saying he had no choice but to fire at the men, killing one.
Bullet holes are still visible on the front on the Dixie Gun and Pawn shot Monday night after what detectives describe as a gun battle broke out earlier in the day.
Police said two armed men burst in Jimmy Groover’s store in broad daylight Monday and held the gun store owner at gunpoint.
“Get down on the floor, get down on the floor or I’ll kill you,” Groover recalled the suspects telling him. “Then they shot at me.”
What the men weren't aware of is that Groover had a gun of his own. Feeling like his life was on the line, he pulled the trigger, shooting and killing one of the suspects. The other is still on the run.
Groover returned to his Cobb County business after the ordeal and showed detectives and family members how he pulled the gun off his hip to defend his life.
“I had no other choice. I had no other choice. I hate that it happened,” he told 11Alive. “I've been doing this 30 years. Nothing like this has ever happened. I never wanted this to happen but I want to go home at night, too.”
PHOTOS | Mableton gun store robbery
This is not the first time this gun and pawn shop has been burglarized. In fact, it’s happened around 20 times. Groover has added security cameras, bars on the windows and keeps all guns in safes at night in efforts to thwart would-be-criminals.
But police said these two suspects acted in broad daylight and friends and family call it tragic for everyone.
“They tell you they're going to kill you. That's what they told the man,” said one of Groover’s friends, who was at the scene. “Come in with two guns, tell you they're going to kill you. He's got grandbabies and family. You got to have some compassion. I've known this man all my life.”
Even hours after the shooting, for Groover, words were hard to come by.
“I hate it. I really do,” he repeated. “I hate it. I hate it bad.”
Detectives told 11Alive’s Duffie Dixon it is unlikely the owner of this shop will be charged because he acted in self-defense.
The other suspect is still on the run and is wanted by police.