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AutoZone fires worker who stopped armed robbery

virginia gun policy company boycott

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#1 Hum

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 17:05

An AutoZone worker who stopped an armed robbery by retrieving a weapon from his truck said he was fired by the company for violating their gun policy.

Devin McClean and his store manager were about to close the AutoZone in York County, Va. when a gunman barged into the store.

“He pulled a gun from his waist band and demanded me and my manager go back into the office,” McClean said.

At some point, McClean was left in a restroom while the gunman made the manager open the store safe. That’s when McClean, a 23-year-old Air Force veteran, bolted through a side door and ran to his truck.

He returned through the front door holding a Glock 40 – pointed directly at the masked robber.

“I told him to freeze and to drop his weapon,” McClean told Fox News.

Instead, the robber took off – last seen running down the street from the store.

“I watched him run down the street,” he said. “I came back inside and made sure my manager was okay and he called the police.”

The York County Sheriff’s Dept. believes the bandit is responsible for as many as 30 robberies across the region.

“One of the officers asked why I didn’t shoot the robber,” McClean said.

Sheriff J.D. Diggs told Fox News he considers McClean to be a hero.

“He did a very brave thing,” the sheriff said. “He put himself in jeopardy in an attempt to make sure his friend was safe. He did a very brave thing.”

The part-time worker’s manager was especially thankful and credited McClean with saving his life.

But two days after the robbery – and just a week before Thanksgiving – McClean was fired.

Television station WTKR reported that McClean violated corporate policy by leaving the store and returning with a weapon.

The station spoke to a representative from the company’s corporate office who said they had a “zero tolerance policy for employees having weapons inside the store.”

An AutoZone spokesman told Fox News they will not discuss the matter.

“It was a surprise to me,” McClean said. “I did the right thing. I saved the company $2,000. I saved one of their manager’s lives – and you’re letting me go? It was a slap in the face.”

McClean said the firing came at a difficult time. He’s about to be a first-time father.

“We’re having a little boy,” he said. “I remember when the guy came in with that gun. My initial thought was I want to make it home to my family. I want to have the opportunity to meet my son and for my son to meet his dad. And for someone to come in and shove a gun in your face?”

So why not just keep running? Why go back inside the store – and risk your own life?

“I regard them as my family,” McClean said of his co-workers. “You’re not going to leave your brother or sister behind.”

It’s a lesson he learned in the Air Force.

“Never leave a man behind,” he said. “I’m not going to leave my brother in a room with a guy with a gun – that’s threatening his life.”

In spite of losing his job, McClean said his actions would be the same if it happened again.

“I wouldn’t change anything,” he said.

The sheriff said he was disappointed to hear that McClean lost his job on account of stopping the robbery.

“That’s certainly unfortunate,” he said. “They should be doing something to reward that young man instead of firing him.”

Sheriff Diggs said AutoZone has also sent an unintended message to the community.

“The company has now sent a message to every would-be robber out there – ‘Hey we’re open for business and unarmed. Come on in and take our money,’” he said.

Meanwhile, the backlash against AutoZone is spreading. Customers have launched a boycott against the company on Facebook and a petition has been started urging them to rehire McClean.

“There’s a Pep Boys right around the corner,” one irate customer wrote on Facebook.

source


#2 Nick H.

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 17:10

*Sigh* more clever coporate thinking...you seem to lose more common sense the higher up the ladder you get...

This guy saved them money and saved a man's life, and his reward is to be fired? People wonder why other people don't step forwards these days, it's because of stuff like this happening!

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 17:22

If an employee feels comfortable using a gun, I say the management should supply him with one.

#4 +Brando212

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 17:30

pretty much a lose lose situation for the guy

either he came back in with the gun to protect his friend and get fired (which is what happened)
or he doesn't and drives away and gets considered a coward that only thinks about saving himself (whether he calls the police or not)

AutoZone should be ashamed of themselves, rules like that need to have some kind of exception for that kind of situation

#5 Anibal P

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 17:45

You'd think by now that this whole "zero tolerance" nonsense is just that nonsense and just gives the company or organization an excuse to be lazy and immoral, especially since these policies have been proven to be useless to begin with

#6 redvamp128

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 17:49

pretty much a lose lose situation for the guy

either he came back in with the gun to protect his friend and get fired (which is what happened)
or he doesn't and drives away and gets considered a coward that only thinks about saving himself (whether he calls the police or not)

AutoZone should be ashamed of themselves, rules like that need to have some kind of exception for that kind of situation


Yes their policies are terrible--

I myself fell victim to this circumstance...

I was feeling ill already worked my shift .... Someone didn't show up... they asked me to work until they found a replacement...four hours later they didn't.. I began to cough up blood (found out I had double pneumonia ... things were slow so I said to the manager I needed to go to the hospital... he said NO I could not go... I started feeling dizzy... so I asked again to go... he said No... I called the district manager-- he said that I should go to the hospital... So I punched out... went to the Hospital and was in the hospital for four weeks...
When I got back..

I was told that I had quit because I clocked out before my scheduled time even though I had the approval of my district manager. To make matters worse is that I had already worked my 8 hours that were scheduled, which to me didn't make sense... clocking out when I had already worked what I was scheduled.When I confronted the district manager about this I was told... Well that is the company policy. I had worked for them for 3 years.

That and four years later I applied at a different location and was told once I quit that I can no longer work for the corporation.

So this does not surprise me at all.

#7 +Brando212

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 17:53

Yes their policies are terrible--

I myself fell victim to this circumstance...

I was feeling ill already worked my shift .... Someone didn't show up... they asked me to work until they found a replacement...four hours later they didn't.. I began to cough up blood (found out I had double pneumonia ... things were slow so I said to the manager I needed to go to the hospital... he said NO I could not go... I started feeling dizzy... so I asked again to go... he said No... I called the district manager-- he said that I should go to the hospital... So I punched out... went to the Hospital and was in the hospital for four weeks...
When I got back..


I was told that I had quit because I clocked out before my appointed time even though I had the approval of my district manager. When I confronted the district manager about this I was told... Well that is the company policy. I had worked for them for 3 years.

So this does not surprise me at all.

especially in your case i would have taken them to court sense you had gotten approval and it literally was a health emergency

#8 Nick H.

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 17:54

So this does not surprise me at all.

Good god! If that had been me I'd have gone nuts on the company.

#9 AJerman

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 18:00

I shop at Advance.

#10 spacer

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 18:12

I hope this guys lands on his feet soon. I'm sure he's a local hero who won't have a problem getting another job.

And with that, I will never go to Auto Zone again. Congratulations AutoZone execs, this guy may have saved you $2000; but now you have lost and will lose way more than that.

#11 redvamp128

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 18:13

especially in your case i would have taken them to court sense you had gotten approval and it literally was a health emergency


When he was confronted-- he said ...

"I said that If I were you I would go to the hospital, but I didn't approve you clocking out."
"If you had just left and not clocked out the company policy would not have been able to been enforced."
"You should have called an ambulance to come get you then that would have fallen under the emergency leave time."

I didn't see a reason to call an ambulance since I was less than 3 blocks from the Hospital... where I collapsed in the ER.

#12 +Brando212

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 18:15

When he was confronted-- he said ...

"I said that If I were you I would go to the hospital, but I didn't approve you clocking out."
"If you had just left and not clocked out the company policy would not have been able to been enforced."
"You should have called an ambulance to come get you then that would have fallen under the emergency leave time."

I didn't see a reason to call an ambulance since I was less than 3 blocks from the Hospital... where I collapsed in the ER.

still sounds full of crap to me and i bet you'd still have a winning case

#13 Anibal P

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 18:20

I'm running out of Auto shops to go to, between this and Pep Boys totally disrespecting Veterans over and over again, I have been releagated to any Mom and Pop type place if there's any left or Walmart

#14 AJerman

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 18:25

I'm running out of Auto shops to go to, between this and Pep Boys totally disrespecting Veterans over and over again, I have been releagated to any Mom and Pop type place if there's any left or Walmart


I hear they have a fine selection of Little Trees and Yosemite Sam floor mats!

#15 Dot Matrix

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 18:30

Robberies and theft are a fine line in retail. In the case of robberies, we were told to comply with their demands, no questions asked. With theft, we were told never to approach or chase the suspect, but to report it to your higher up.