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Deliveryman, Shot in Chest, Wrestles Gun From Robbers

Posted March 20, 2008

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— Two men shot a deliveryman at a Cumberland County convenience store, but the worker managed to wrestle the gun away from the attempted robbers before they ran away.

As a driver for McLane Carolina, a Rocky Mount food-service company, John David Kutzer – a 37-year-old father of two from Rocky Mount – made regular stops at the Kangaroo store at Camden and Rockfish roads.

Two men came into the store while Kutzer was unloading snacks around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. One man, armed with a .45-caliber pistol, looked for the clerk, who was in the back room. Instead, he saw Kutzer and aimed at the deliveryman.

Kutzer felt cornered and could only run toward the men, so he decided to defend himself and stop the robbers, he said, speaking by phone to WRAL from his hospital bed.

Kutzer lunged at the gunman, and the man fired, hitting Kutzer in the chest. The gunman fired two more times but missed.

"(Kutzer) still managed to get the gun away from the robber," Hope Mills Police Chief John Hodges said. The robbers "ran out of the store, around the corner and apparently got into a vehicle."

The attempted robbers fled empty-handed, without money or their weapon.

Kutzer said he suffered a gunshot wound to his lower left chest, 5 or 6 inches below his heart. He was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition Thursday afternoon.

Kutzer said that although he does not know when he will be released, his wife has been at side in the hospital, and he looks forward to seeing his two children.

He plans to go back to work for McLane Carolina when he recovers, Kutzer said.

Police said the gunman wore a stocking over his head, and the pair left in a compact or mid-sized car.

Hodges said surveillance cameras caught the attempted robbers, but the film quality might not be high enough to identify them.

Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to call the Hope Mills police at 910-425-4103.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • ghimmy47 Mar 21, 2008

    "Way out there"? Give me a break! Ask the man laying in the hospital what he got. He got a .45 in the chest and a gun the police kept. Why? "He felt cornered" and was a "hero." Give them your wallet, watch, ring and reassuring words if you can't run. Any police officer (and this man I bet now) will tell you the same. If he had NOT taken the gun after taking them on I guarantee you he would be dead along with the clerk. Witnesses to a murder aren't left standing.

  • VT1994Hokie Mar 21, 2008

    This is one unique story. He had much courage to do what he did. He could have lost his life. Give him a metal. He took a crazy chance, but he may have saved the life of the worker.

    I truly don't think that I could have acted in this way.

  • Go Georgia Tech Mar 21, 2008

    "next time just hand over the $$ and you wont be in the hospetal. whats he doing working at 2 am anyway...sounds funny" -empower activist

    John KATZER NOT KUTZER is a man that works as a driver delivering the items that are sold in the stores. These deliveries take place in the middle of the night, so you wont be btoehred by them during the day. Mclanes drivers are not permitted to carry handguns nor do they have cash on them. he was simply doing his job as a delivery man and these guys tried to hurt him. Now "empower activist" what would you do? stand there like a nob and still get shot? I know John personally and he is a great employee- good father- and is really a good guy. I hope you get well my man and they catch the guys who did this. Your a hero in my book- god knows what else would have happened if you did not do what you did.

    Matt W. (your old DC manager)-

  • pantheelsfan Mar 21, 2008

    Wish you a speedy recovery. My prayers are with you/your family. God Bless.

  • Tired Of Excuses Mar 21, 2008

    Working at 2am in a convenience store?? The "Takers" in this world don't care, they are going to take what they can get. Get a gun buddy because next time you may not be so lucky!

  • whatusay Mar 21, 2008

    angora2...then why are they asking anyone who has any information to call the police? And why would the police want to keep details from the public??? Your theory is not correct.

  • davidgnews Mar 21, 2008

    "Hodges said surveillance cameras caught the attempted robbers, but the film quality might not be high enough to identify them."

    We have satellites that can count threads in lawn chairs sitting in someones back yard, yet only poor-quality imagery with security cameras where it can be life and death.

    What's wrong with this 'picture ?'

  • 71RT Mar 21, 2008

    Everyone of us has a basic God given right to protect ourselves and our loved ones. I only wish that the victim had a gun and could have defended himself. Unfortunately, the society in which we live in has changed, some peoples morals have declined, criminals have no respect for life, no fear of the justice system. Our law enforcement agencies do a stand up job, but they can't be everywhere. Hats off to the victim here, God Bless and get well soon.

  • nascar33 Mar 21, 2008

    "next time just hand over the $$ and you wont be in the hospetal. whats he doing working at 2 am anyway...sounds funny
    empowered activist"

    hey "empowered activist" not all of us are willing to lay down and be slaughtered like sheep! And I second the comments, that's a pretty common time for deliveries to be made to stores. Next time get a clue.

  • rcrdngcountry Mar 21, 2008

    backed fired in their face. make the heat so hot the crooks
    can't stand it. a very brave move. GOD BLESS YOU.