ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KOAT/CNN) - A gas station worker has been suspended for two weeks for shooting a robbery suspect. But in an interview, the worker said she's sticking to her guns.
“I grabbed my gun from my pocket, I cocked it, and I shot,” said Jennifer Wertz, who shot the robbery suspect. "I'm sick and tired of being a sitting duck."
In front of the Circle K near Eubank and Candelaria, Wertz said on Tuesday that she didn't hesitate to shoot a man who ran into the store on Monday. "He like stepped into the door and pointed the gun at me. I reacted,” she said. Police say she hit 23-year-old Ferron Mendez in the chest. He's expected to live.
Wertz says she had the gun at work clearly visible on her hip because it's become a dangerous place to be. "Robberies have been going on like this for the past few weeks. They have done nothing to protect me. And I felt the need to protect myself,” Wertz said.
She says Circle K suspended her for two weeks for shooting the suspect. She's quitting and now looking for a new job. Wertz doesn't like company policy in these types of situations.
"We are not to chase. We are not to provoke. We are not to do anything. We just stand there and give them what they want and they leave,” Wertz said.
But when Mendez rushed into the store, Wertz was by the door. She wonders what would have happened if she wasn't armed, and the suspect got upset she couldn't quickly hand over cash.
"What if he would have come in and just shot me just because I wasn't behind the counter?" Wertz asked.
It was over in 30 seconds. Wertz says she thought of her three kids and her disabled mother whom she cares for. Circle K management declined to comment on the incident.
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