Video of Marine Veteran Stopping Armed Robbery Goes Viral

Dramatic security camera footage shows the moment a U.S. Marine Corps veteran successfully stopped an armed robbery at a gas station in Arizona.

In a video shared by the Yuma County Sheriff's Office, two suspects can be seen entering the gas station. One of the suspects is brandishing a gun, which he points in the general direction of the man, later identified as James Kilcer.

In a flash, Kilcer reaches out and grabs the firearm with one hand, swinging a white plastic bag containing other items with the other.

The bag connects with the robber's face, with both suspects sent sprawling to the floor as a result of Kilcer's instinctive response. The second unarmed suspect is then seen scrambling out the door of the gas station as the video ends.

Footage of Kilcer's heroic response has proven a hit on social media, with the video racking up millions of views on Twitter and Facebook.

According to a statement from the Yuma County Sheriff's Office, the incident occurred at a Chevron in Yuma on Wednesday, October 20, and involved three suspects including one armed with a handgun.

Authorities say the armed suspect was "pointing the weapon toward the cashier" when Kilcer intervened and disarmed him.

"The other two suspects fled the area when they witnessed their fellow criminal stopped," Yuma County Sheriff's Office said. "The customer was able to detain the suspect he disarmed until law enforcement arrived."

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The captured suspect was later identified as a juvenile and booked into the Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center on charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault.

His two accomplices have yet to be detained with an investigation still ongoing. No other injuries were reported thanks, in part, to the efforts of Kilcer.

When the Yuma County Sheriff's Office contacted Kilcer to ask how he was able to deal with the situation so smoothly, he told them: "The Marine Corps taught me not to [mess] around."

Speaking to ABC15, Kilcer, who did a tour in Afghanistan and now works as a contractor with the Department of Defense, said he was on his way to work when the incident happened as he was leaving the gas station.

When this Yuma, AZ veteran saw some criminals pop in guns high -- he didn't wait for things to potentially go south.

“The Marine Corp taught me not to [mess] around,” he later said.

'The few, the proud' for a reason.
More on the story on @ABC15 at 10.

— Zach Crenshaw (@ZachCrenshaw) October 21, 2021

He told the news provider that his instincts kicked in as soon as he saw the gun.

"The situation had to be dealt with, and there was really only one way to deal with it," he said. "I picked my target and said that's the one I'm going for and he took an extra step towards me, towards the counter and he was in my reach."

The 32-year-old father added: "I hit him and the gun before my keys hit the ground. That's how fast I moved - and I'm a little chubby guy."

His efforts and expertise at handling the situation have drawn widespread praise on social media.

"Thank you for your service to our country and for stopping something that could have turned out terribly," Susan Hurlocker wrote on Facebook.

"Excellent takedown," Darrell Brown commented. "I applaud this former marine for his quick thinking and action."

"Talk about him being in the right place at the right time," Melisa Hildebrand added. "Who knows how many lives he potentially saved."

Newsweek has contacted Kilcer and the Yuma County Sheriff's Office for comment.

A marine veteran filmed disarming a man.
A U.S. marine veteran disarming a would-be robber - footage of the daring intervention was posted to social media by the Yuma County Sheriff's Office. Facebook/Yuma County Sheriff's Office