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'I know I did the right thing:' Customer shoots, kills armed robber at St. Charles QuikTrip

A customer stepped in to stop an armed robber holding a knife to the clerk's neck. The suspect charged at the customer, who fired four times and killed the suspect.

ST CHARLES, Mo. — Most people would try to run away from a robbery situation, but one customer felt called to run toward it.  

His courageous effort ended in a deadly shooting, which possibly saved more lives than the one lost.

"Taking somebody's life is not an everyday thing, neither is saving someone's life," the customer, who wished to remain anonymous said. 

Those thoughts now consume his mind after not only witnessing an armed robbery Saturday morning at a St. Charles QuikTrip but also stepping in to stop it.

"He grabbed a backpack and ran inside, looking for I guess the clerk. I saw him grab her and drag her to the front to the counter, something wasn't right when I saw that, so me being concealed carry, I had my gun on me and I just waited," the customer said. 

The customer saw it all unfold from his car, parked in front of the QT on First Capitol Drive.

 "I walked up to the door and I saw him with a knife to her throat. She was emptying out the cash register and I took a step in and peeked my head in to ask if everything was okay. I couldn't see his face but he was saying yes, but I could see her face she was saying no, she was scared," he said.

Police named the robbery suspect 26-year-old Lance Bush from St. Louis City. "I pulled my gun up and I asked him are you sure everything's okay and that's when the suspect said 'no it's not okay, but I got something for you and he grabbed his bag, ran from around the counter and started running towards me and that's when I fired shots," the customer said.

He recalls shooting four times before Bush fell to the floor. Shortly after he told the clerk to call the police, he did as well. 

"I don't think I honestly had a choice. He already had a knife at her throat, he could've pulled out something bigger than what I had then you would've had two people dead instead of one," he said. 

His previous experience, training with guns and handling emergency situations, made him feel compelled to step in when other customers ran away.

"Instinct I would say. Instinct that's just it. I guess knowing that I'm protected, I can protect somebody else," he said. 

He stayed at the scene when police arrived to find Bush shot. 

Bush was transported to the hospital and died. 

"Every time you second guess if you have to take a life, but you also have to think was it for the greater good and my answer is yes," the customer said.

Police believe Bush is tied to two other armed robberies that happened within the hour earlier that morning. 

They found the black SUV he was driving was stolen from Maryland Heights on Friday. The customer was detained and released. 

At this time, he says he has not been charged.

Christine Byers of 5 On Your Side contributed to this report.

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