Robbery Suspect Hospitalized After Taco Bell Employee Defends Self With Firearm

A robbery suspect in Akron, Ohio, was hospitalized in serious condition by the employee of an Akron, Ohio, Taco Bell, which the suspect was allegedly attempting to rob. The incident occurred on New Year’s Day of 2024 at around 7:30 in the evening.

According to the Kansas City Star, the Akron Police Department received a call which reported shots fired at the Taco Bell at about 7:30 pm. Responding at 7:35 pm, the police officers found that a 35-year-old suspect had robbed the store and, in the process, opened fire on a 21-year-old Taco Bell employee at the fast food location.

That young employee, unharmed by the alleged robber’s gunfire, used a firearm of his own to fire back at the robber as the robber attempted to flee with an undisclosed amount of money. The return fire from the Taco Bell employee struck the alleged robber in his upper body, according to the Akron Police Department.

The suspect is now in the hospital in serious condition, though the upper body gunshot wound was apparently non-life threatening. That suspect was taken to Summa Health Akron City Hospital by a 33-year-old acquaintance shortly after the shooting. Both men were arrested and charged in connection with the incident, with the robbery suspect facing multiple charges, including robbery, over the incident.

The 35-year-old suspect who was injured by the Taco Bell employee’s return gunfire has not been identified yet. However, the 33-year-old who drove him to the hospital has been identified as 33-year-old Rayshoun Bruce, who was also charged with robbery. Mr. Bruce was booked into the local Summit County Jail.

The police requested information from anyone with knowledge of the incident, saying that those who have anything to add are asked to call the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490 or 330-375-2Tip.

Ohio’s self-defense statute provides, “A person is allowed to act in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence. If, at the trial of a person who is accused of an offense that involved the person’s use of force against another, there is evidence presented that tends to support that the accused person used the force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person did not use the force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence, as the case may be.”

The self-defense law for the state also provides, “a person is presumed to have acted in self-defense or defense of another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if the person against whom the defensive force is used is in the process of unlawfully and without privilege to do so entering, or has unlawfully and without privilege to do so entered, the residence or vehicle occupied by the person using the defensive force.”

However, the Taco Bell location was probably not a dwelling under the statute, which defines a “dwelling” as “a building or conveyance of any kind that has a roof over it and that is designed to be occupied by people lodging in the building or conveyance at night, regardless of whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent or is mobile or immobile. As used in this division, a building or conveyance includes, but is not limited to, an attached porch, and a building or conveyance with a roof over it includes, but is not limited to, a tent.”






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