Alabama Family Dollar clerk fights off sword-wielding robbers with gun

Two masked men wielding swords tried robbing a dollar store in Alabama last week before they were thwarted by an employee carrying a gun, investigators said.

The suspects burst into a Family Dollar in Birmingham last Wednesday and demanded money from the clerk, but bolted after he showed them his firearm, according to police.

Precious Spencer had only been on the job for a couple of days when she described how one of her managers used a gun to fend off the "medieval" robbers, Fox 6 reported.

The suspects bolted after a clerk pulled out his gun, police said.

The suspects bolted after a clerk pulled out his gun, police said. (Birmingham PD Crime Stoppers)


"He got to the end of the aisle and said, 'they’re robbing us, they’re robbing us'... they came here with swords and that kind of threw us for a loop because no one really got robbed with swords before,” Spencer told the news station. “What were they going to do, chop our heads off and get the stuff?”

Spencer said one of the men was holding a short sword and the other was holding a long one. She says the manager decided to get involved to prevent anyone from getting hurt.

“He said, 'they rob us too much and that’s why I have my gun,' and I understand why he feels the way he feels. He’s trying to secure himself and protect the people that are in here,” she added.


None of the other employees was allowed to carry firearms, Spencer said, adding that the store was planning to hire an armed guard after recent break-ins. Spencer says the store had been involved in 13 robbery attempts in just the last five months.

“Luckily no one was injured,” said Birmingham Police Sgt. Johnny Williams. “We want everybody to realize that although this may seem funny to some, we still consider these guys dangerous. That weapon of choice at that time was a machete or a sword, but these guys can easily escalate to using other weapons like firearms.”