Store clerk in Fla. shoots, kills would-be robber

October 22, 2011 - 3:35 PM

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A convenience store manager grabbed a gun from under the counter and shot a would-be robber in the knee before the man scooped up the clerk's infant daughter and tried to flee, sheriff's deputies said Wednesday.

Daniel Ramont Hernandez, 32, died at hospital after the Tuesday afternoon shooting at Del's 24-Hour Food Store in Naples, according to the Collier County Sheriff's Office. The child wasn't hurt.

Hernandez came in store acting erratically, causing 22-year-old manager Elizabeth Easterly to be worried for her safety, according to the sheriff's office. When Hernandez came around to her side of the counter, she grabbed a gun and shot him once in the leg.

When she ran outside to alert a school crossing guard, Hernandez grabbed the stroller with Easterly's child and carried it toward the door. He put the stroller down, ran outside and was tackled by another man who was coming to work, the report said.

The shooting is still under investigation.

Easterly's grandfather, store owner Del Ackerman, said she was alone briefly during a shift change with her daughters, ages 1 and 2, when the man came in at about 3 p.m.

"I'm so thankful God saved my granddaughter and my grandbabies, because this guy was really vicious," Ackerman said.

His granddaughter had taken a training course in which she was taught to shoot a person in the legs to disable them, he said.

Easterly was not hurt but was shaken up.

"She's pretty much in shock, but she saved the baby," said Easterly's grandmother, Nancy Ackerman.

Calls to her cellphone rang unanswered Wednesday.

Del Ackerman said his family has run the store continuously for 47 years. It was closed while deputies processed the crime scene, but reopened at about 2 a.m. Wednesday.

"I'm not going to let one person in the United States close my doors," he said.

Hernandez has a lengthy arrest record in Collier County dating back to at least 2002, the sheriff's office said.

Naples is about 170 miles south of Tampa.