Local News

Deliveryman, Shot in Chest, Wrestles Gun From Robbers

Two armed men surprised and shot a driver making a delivery at a convenience store. But he also surprised them, taking away their gun before they fled.

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HOPE MILLS, N.C. — 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.