Family of Armed Robber Considers Legal Action Against Man Who Killed Him in Self-Defense

It all started at a Waffle House in South Carolina. Two men barged in, one of whom had a gun drawn, yelling at all the customers and staff to get on the ground, and demanding their money. Only one person refused to be a victim, so he stayed seated at his barstool and continued eating his breakfast and planning his move. He had a concealed carry permit, and he was carrying a handgun. Justin Harrison is his name.

When the two robbers approached Harrison, he drew his weapon, shot the guy with the gun and killed him on the spot. Harrison then attempted to hold the other robber at gunpoint, but he ended up getting away after they fought over Harrison’s gun. Police nabbed him shortly thereafter, and now he’s doing about 30 years in prison.

The family of the slain robber thinks that there should have been charges pressed against Harrison for the fatal shooting.

Tamika McSwain is Williams’ cousin and said more training is needed before someone is given a CWP. McSwain said the video contradicts statements made by Harrison about what happened the night of the robbery, and said if Harrison had been bettered trained he may not have fired the fatal shots.

“I understand he felt threatened by the situation,” McSwain said. “But he said the gun was pointed at him so he fired. In fact he (Williams) was walking out.”

McSwain admits that Williams made a terrible decision the night he died.

“It still puzzles us as to why he would do something so crazy,” said McSwain.

Williams actions were out of character for the Dorman High School senior who his family said had never been in trouble before.

“He was always sharp, always goofy, loved to dance, he was a respectable boy,” McSwain said.

McSwain said her family was disappointed that Harrison wasn’t charged in the shooting and says her family is still considering pursuing other legal action against him.

Both the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office and Seventh Circuit Solicitor’s office cleared Harrison in the shooting.

But McSwain said her cousin’s death shows that more training is need for CWP holders. Harrison meanwhile said the video shows he did what he had to.

“They got the gun, he (Williams) picked it up. He could have said no,” Harrison said. “He hung out with the wrong crowd.”

I’d say Harrison acted calmly, reasonably and responsibly. I understand the family mourning the death of one of their relatives, but they should be mourning more for his decision to do what he did. He should have known (and perhaps he did know) that engaging in criminal activity carries with it a very high risk of death. Especially in the South. The other patrons in the restaurant and the staff who worked there should be grateful that they weren’t in a gun-free zone and thankful that Harrison took action on their behalf. I bet they’re all a bit more interested in getting their concealed carry permit now than they were before the incident.