Arizona gas station hostages attack, subdue man who shot customer in the head
A newly released surveillance video shows the moments inside a convenience store in Arizona when a man shot and killed a customer before taking eight others hostage who later fought back against their attacker.
The incident happened on May 9, 2018, when 53-year-old Joel McClain Carson walked into the Phoenix Circle K store with a gun, strolled up to a customer waiting in line and shot the man in the back of the head.
"He said, 'This is not a game. It's not a joke. I don't want any money, any beer... I came prepared to die,'" one of the hostages later told the police in a recording obtained by KTVK-TV.
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After shooting and killing 24-year-old Efran Hernandez, Carson then could be seen in surveillance video ordering an employee to lock the front door before barricading it with a donut case. He later ordered the eight people inside to the back of the store.
Police told ABC15 that Carson then tried to shoot several other customers and employees in the store, but his stolen .22-caliber handgun malfunctioned. When the weapon started to act up, one of the customers in the store fought back, tackling Carson as the others rushed him.
"I turned the gun to his stomach, and I tried to pull the trigger," the man who fought back told police. "It was my only instinct to get myself out of the situation."
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After disarming Carson, the hostages ran outside. Authorities then spent the next hour negotiating with Carson before a SWAT team went in the store and shot Carson once, according to ABC15.
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office ruled the officer-involved shooting was justified, prompting the release of the video on Tuesday.
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Carson was placed in a hospital for a week, but later booked into jail on multiple charges including first-degree murder, nine counts of kidnapping, possession of a weapon by a prohibited person and eight counts of aggravated assault. While in an interview with police after his release from the hospital on May 16, Carson admitted to the shooting and said he “wanted police to kill him," ABC15 reported.
Carson is still awaiting trial, more than a year after the incident, according to KTVK.