Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pizza shop owner fatally shoots robber

"Ferdinando Abbondante wanted the masked man to go for the cash register.

When a man carrying a gun sneaked into Dominick’s Pizza and Pasta just after 10 p.m. Saturday and demanded that he open his safe, Abbondante tried to tell him that there was no money in there, that he should go for the register instead.

“I told him to walk to the register, get the money, leave my store, and no one would get hurt,” said Abbondante, who owns the pizza shop. “In a situation like this, they see the money, they’re going to be happy and walk away.”

The man had his gun trained on one of the restaurant’s employees, Abbondante said, and kept insisting: “Open the safe! Open the safe!”

The safe was where Abbondante, a former security officer, kept his handgun, which he carried with him when he left the restaurant at night with the day’s receipts. If he opened it, he thought, the man would see the gun and start shooting. But he didn’t see any other choice.

So Abbondante opened the safe. The man fired once, and missed, Abbondante said. He fired back – he doesn’t remember how many times – killing the intruder.

“I’m not proud of it, because when you kill a person, you take somebody else’s life. That’s not good at all. Nobody wants to do that,” he said. “But in this case, I’m happy. I think I saved my life and my employees’ lives.”

Police on Monday identified the man who was killed as Johnny Marocco Williams, 41, of Winder Court in Hampton.

Dominick’s was closed Sunday as employees worked into the night, scrubbing the restaurant with the help of a professional cleaning crew. Abbondante said he plans to reopen today.

The shooting was something that employee Ravyn Pearce says she never wants to go through again.

“It was so shocking. It was insane,” said Pearce, who at one time had the gun pointed at her. “People always say, 'If I was in that situation …’ but you never know what you’re going to do.”

With apologies to Ravyn, yes, one does know what one is going to do, and nine times out of ten does it. Its how the species made it to the top of the food chain and stayed there. The several million year ascension of homo sapien to preeminence assured that Ferdinando would at least try to do the right thing to protect himself and those he was responsible for, no matter what liberals and/or frightened females would have you believe. Its in the genes, kiddo. Always was, always will be, and is the single most important reason why true men become enraged when told to just give it up, give the predators what they want.

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