Cobb County Police are continuing their investigation into a shooting at a Mableton gun store, where the owner, Jimmy Groover was forced to shoot and kill an assailant in an attempted robbery of his store.
The incident happened at around 11 a.m. on a Monday morning, at Dixie Gun and Pawn on Veterans Memorial Highway. The owner, Groover and another employee were in the store with two customers when two masked men came inside.
“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.”
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.”
Police said they do not expect to file charges against the gun shop owner.