Originally created 01/05/03

Family halts store robbery



CRAWFORD, Ga. - Two gun-wielding, masked men picked the wrong place to rob when they burst into the Junction Package store in Oglethorpe County last week.

Standing behind the counter was 37-year-old William Miller, a sturdily built former lawman with a Glock handgun holstered at his hip.

"This is a robbery!" one of the men shouted, as both approached the counter with guns extended.

"No, it's not," Mr. Miller said, as he drew his gun and opened fire. He squeezed off two shots in the pair's direction before diving behind the counter for cover and emptying the remaining seven rounds blindly in their direction.

Mr. Miller's father, Jack Miller, the owner of the store on U.S. Highway 78 outside Crawford for the past 20 years, pulled his 16-gauge shotgun and fired off a shot as well.

The robbers fled, peeling off from a back road near the store in a light-colored sedan.

"They didn't get anything here, except maybe some gunshot wounds," said the younger Mr. Miller, who worked for the Oconee and Jackson County sheriff's offices before coming back to work at the store in anticipation of his father's retirement.

Since word of the shooting spread, regular customers have complimented the Millers' decision to fight back.

"I've heard nothing but positives about it," William Miller said. "They're glad things worked out the way they did, and they're glad somebody stood up to these thugs."