The life of a store clerk at the Kingsland, Georgia, Friendly Express convenience store is monotonous: checking the temperature on the beer cooler four times per shift, restocking the bathrooms, putting out additional bags of chips and making sure the soda fountain is working. There are floors to mop and glass display cases to wipe clean of fingerprints. And, of course, there is stopping a five-county, two-state crime spree.

In Hot Pursuit

Illustration By: Jason Brauncowski

Illustration By: Jason Brauncowski

Qwinntavus Kwame Jordan put the last item on the clerk’s to-do list. The Georgia fugitive, who crossed from Georgia south into Florida to rob a Shell gas station in Flagler County (about an hour south of Jacksonville), perhaps thought eluding the Florida Highway Patrol and making it back to Georgia would get him home free.

The gas station robbery netted Jordan only $90 in cash (and some gasoline, food and cigars, among other items). He made his getaway heading north on I-95. Within a few minutes, the Florida Highway Patrol was behind him, lights flashing, sirens sounding, in hot pursuit as he barreled north.

If Jordan thought he’d be safe once he reached the Georgia line, he thought wrong. The Florida Highway Patrol broke off the chase, but the Camden County Sheriff’s office took over the pursuit. Camden County deputies radioed ahead to the Kingsland, Georgia, police, who prepared a sharp welcome for Jordan. They used a Stop Stick to bring Jordan’s vehicle — but not Jordan — to a halt.

He jumped from the car and ran from the officers, eluding them long enough to reach the local Friendly Express convenience store. There he entered with his gun out and up, demanding both money and the clerk’s car keys. The clerk complied, handing over the keys. Jordan initially drove off but, instead of fleeing, came back and drove the clerk’s car through the front of the store. The clerk grabbed a customer and ushered him into a back room, where they hid.

Jordan jumped out of the car and pursued the clerk and the customer through the store, to the back room, where he pointed his handgun at the customer. The clerk, now also armed, quickly fired eight times, ending the crime spree and likely saving the customer’s life.

The clerk called 911 and sought police and EMS assistance, which was already on its way given the ongoing chase.1

Smart Thinking

It is unclear if the clerk was initially surprised by Jordan’s actions and display of the gun. Even had he heard the sirens, he would likely not have believed he would be affected by what was happening on the interstate. Surprised or not, the clerk came face to face with a drawn gun and a nervous criminal.

It is inferable that the clerk knew that drawing his own firearm against an already armed and agitated marauder was unlikely to end well. Compliance with the robber’s demands bought him time. Instead of pursuing the thief, the clerk took the customer to the rear of the building when the car bashed through the front. At that point, the thief could have taken anything he wanted, but what he wanted, apparently, was hostages. The clerk, having retreated as far as possible, reacted with deadly force.

Lawful Defense

The clerk faced an immediate, deadly and unavoidable threat. There was no place further he could run. A customer was present, adding to his need to use force.

The clerk’s resort to deadly force in that situation fit well under the Georgia law, which states that a person is justified in using force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or herself or a third person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.2

Here, the presence of the gun in the hands of the robber and the use of the vehicle as a weapon in ramming it into the building both constitute situations where great bodily harm or death could ensue. Additionally, the aggravated assault with a firearm that occurred when Jordan pointed his weapon at the customer was a forcible felony.

Training Shows

It appears the clerk had enough training to know what not to do — draw against an already pointed gun — and made all the right moves.

His first smart move was complying with the request to hand over his car keys. While news stories are silent on the question of when he armed himself, even if he had had a pistol on him at the time of the initial assault, he likely could not have drawn and fired it in time to avoid being shot.

Once it was plain the bandit was returning, and knowing he had a customer he needed to protect, the clerk retreated to a relatively safe location inside the store, in a back room. While this left the cash register unguarded, he protected what really mattered.

When Jordan appeared and pointed his gun at the customer, the clerk did not hesitate. He resorted to violence only when it was the last option open to him. That demonstrated both courage and self-restraint. The clerk’s marksmanship also left nothing to be desired. He sent the assailant to the local hospital with multiple wounds, and initial reports were that Jordan was in critical condition.

As of this writing, Jordan is still in the hospital in Georgia.

“I also commend the Georgia store clerk [who] put a swift end to this dirtbag’s crime spree,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly wrote in a press release. “If [Jordan] survives his injuries, he should spend a long time in prison.”3


[1] Patricio G. Balona, “Georgia fugitive shot 8 times by store clerk ‘still alive’ and facing criminal charges,” The Daytona Beach News-Journal, May 2, 2023,; Andrew Mark Miller, “Florida robbery suspect fleeing police shot 8 times by store clerk: ‘Swift end to dirtbag’s crime spree,’” Fox News, April 29, 2023, Florida officials would later learn that Qwinntavus Kwame Jordan had felony warrants from Coffee County, Georgia, for armed robbery — a skill at which he was apparently untrained and unprepared.

[2] Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 16-3-21.

[3] Miller, “Florida robbery suspect fleeing police shot 8 times by store clerk.”