A former Georgia waitress is brushing up on her gun safety after she fired a shot in the air on the heels of three bandits who had threatened to shoot everyone during an armed robbery last week.
Heather “Shorty” Burkinshaw-Stanley was told Friday she was terminated for her actions during an armed robbery of the Waffle House in Newnan, The Newnan Times-Herald reported.
The robbers, three men who ate at the breakfast restaurant in the predawn hours on Thursday then, instead of paying, gave the cashier a note promising to shoot everyone inside if they didn’t get “all of the money” and fled with about $200.
It was then that Burkinshaw-Stanley went to her car and retrieved what reports show to be a Hi-Point C9 with camo grips and fired one shot in the air.
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“I wasn’t sure if they were coming back or not,” Burkinshaw-Stanley told the Times-Herald. “I was in fear for my life, my co-workers’ lives, and I did what I thought was right.”
Headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, the 24-hour breakfast chain has some 2,100 locations in 25 states, primarily in the South, but robbers have targeted restaurants in the Newnan area frequently. In October, one was robbed for the third time in as many weeks.
The chain in the past has kicked out law enforcement officers and armed National Guardsmen while enforcing their strict “no-guns” policy. This hasn’t stopped defensive gun use by armed concealed carry practitioners in 2015, 2013 and 2012, in each case leaving a would-be robber shot.
Waffle House last week defended the move to cut Burkinshaw-Stanley loose.
“Our local management team has the authority to do what they think is best and will consult with the security department here,” said Pat Warner, a spokesperson for Waffle House. “With any personnel issue, you have to look at all the facts. We’re still gathering information and looking into the circumstances.”
As for Burkinshaw-Stanley, the former waitress told WSB-TV “I would do it again” and has accepted a complimentary firearms safety training class offered by a local gun range while a fundraiser has generated over $7,000 in donations to pay for utilities until she can find other employment.