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Storeowner: 'I have a gun, too.'

By Ed Brock

An armed man walked into Zulfiqar "John" Butt's Jonesboro store with the intent to rob the place.

He crawled out with gun shot wounds to his legs and his life.

The would-be robber, whom police identified as 22-year-old Keston Scott of Jonesboro, came into John's Discount Store on North Main Street around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday.

"He said give me the money," Butt said. "I said wait a minute, I have a gun, too."

When the robber crouched down as if in preparation for shooting him, Butt took out his .357 Magnum and opened fire about three times.

The robber escaped, leaving his 9 mm Highpoint handgun behind, got into a waiting car and left. Police arrested Scott a short time later at Southern Regional Medical Center, said Jonesboro Police Sgt. Wayne Woods.

"He had somebody drop him off at the hospital," Woods said.

Scott has been charged with criminal attempt at an armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm in commission of a crime. He was released from SRMC Tuesday afternoon and taken to Clayton County jail.

Butt's simple store, where he'd been in business for some seven years, had been robbed three times in the past five years, Woods said. After the shooting even Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day stopped to see what was going on after seeing police cars in front of the store.

"I'm proud of how our police officers handled it," Day said.

Woods said he wouldn't advise other store owners to do what Butt did.

"They shouldn't confront these individuals," Butt said. "They should try to comply with them because we don't want anybody hurt."

But Butt, who said this was the first time he had had to use the gun on somebody, showed no regret.

"It was just easy," Butt said. "You have no choice when you see someone has a gun and they're going to kill you."