Store clerk who wrestled shotgun from robbery suspect, speaks about 10-second fight for his life

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Monday, 22-year-old George Tahhan putting cash into his register.

Days ago, he was frantically pulling cash out, after a man, with a bandana over his face, came running in with a shotgun.

“Just here, and he come back with the gun, here,” Tahhan said.

Tahhan, calmer than most twice his age, tried to buy himself time, telling the suspect to put the gun down. 

“And I just tell him, ‘OK, that’s fine, just go back around and I’m going to give you money,'” Tahhan said.

At first, only giving the suspect $1 bills.

“And, he just be like so angry, I just give him like a couple ones, and he wanted like 100’s and 20’s,” Tahhan said. “This is my responsibility, you know.”

Then, the suspect sees a car pull up outside. He makes his move.

“He just jumped from here, and I take his gun, like that,” Tahhan describes. 

A 10-second fight erupts.

“At one point, the shotgun is, you know, pointed right at the victim’s body,” Tulare County Sheriff’s Sgt. Larry Camacho said. “However, we always recommend that, you know, you don’t do that, you try to just comply with whatever it is they’re asking.

“No one’s life is worth a small amount of money.”

The suspect eventually bolts.

When asked if he was scared?

“Just a bit you know,” Tahhan said. 

But, Tahhan says, he saw the suspect was also young, and nervous.

Deputies recovered the shotgun and say, it wasn’t even loaded.

Now, back to business, Tahhan shows a small cut on his finger. His only injury.

He promises, he’s not afraid of a return customer.

“He will come you know, any time he wants,” Tahhan said. “I’ll be ready, always.”

Officials say the suspect is about 18 to 23 years old, which would mean he and Tahhan are about the same age.

If you saw anything, contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Reporting in Porterville, Megan Rupe.

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