Felix Cosme, 63, of Dacula, was working at O'Reilly's Auto Parts store at 2786 Hamilton Mill Road in Buford when he tried to pull his weapon to stop an attempted robbery, police say.
Police were called to investigate a convenience store robbery, but found it was a total hoax allegedly staged by two suspects: Clarence William Moore III, 40, and Callie Elizabeth Carswell, 24.
"These officers were fired upon first," the police chief said when questioned on protocol by reporters on Sunday night.
Steven Michael Berlin, 56, claimed he needed the money to buy crack cocaine and cigarettes.
"He grabs me by the apron and then holds his knife to my stomach and he says, 'open the register,'" one store employee said.
The man held off three assailants using only his trusty pipe.
Sunday's daring escape was the latest in a long history of audacious armed robberies and jail breaks by the 46-year-old career criminal.
Redmond O'Neal is accused of stabbing two men in seemingly random attacks.
Armed heists targeting jewelry stores aren't uncommon in the area in which the luxurious five-star hotel is located.
Days before the incident, Kardashian West posted a close-up photograph of a huge diamond ring to Instagram.
Ryan Lochte and three team mates appeared to lie about a robbery.
Another suspect was shot by police while two escaped after the botched robbery in Nairobi.