Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pizza Shop owner fires "shot heard round Akron"

John Hayes fired the shot, and Patrick Finney took it in the chest.

That much everyone agrees. Now the investigation begins into whether Hayes was justified to open fire when Finney entered the restaurant with a shotgun. Legal folks tell me that Hayes will be cleared and quickly, but it'll be up to the prosecutor as to what happens next.

I actually met Hayes at 10 days ago and he was armed then. Now it feels like foreshadowing

"Your Pizza Shop" had circulated some coupons, and I thought I'd give my business to a newly-reopened neighborhood shop.

My 14-year-old son and I stopped in to pick up the pizzas, and we had a nice conversation with Hayes and two employees, one of them a childhood friend of mine I haven't seen in years. So it was a good experience and the food was good too.

On the way back to our car, my son asked me if I'd noticed the gun on Hayes' hip. I had not, but I told my son that beyond his keen attention to detail, he'd probably just witnessed a neighborhood business owner who knows that he needs to protect himself. I also told my son that I assumed the owner had a concealed carry license and was hoping that by making it clear to customers that he was armed.

Maybe would-be bad guys would get the message and stay away.

Obviously, that didn't happen.



Swanny said...

It might sound callous to say, but Finney got exactly what he deserved. He tried to rob a business with a shotgun and ran into a business owner that was legally carrying a concealed weapon, was trained how to use it, and wasn't going to let himself be a victim.

I have read comments on the ABJ website where people have said that Hayes should have just handed over the money and let Finney go, but you don't need to look any further than the two young men that recently robbed and murdered Jason Baker for his car. Baker surrendered the car, and witnesses say he pleaded with the men not to shoot, but they shot him anyway.

Hayes was well aware of this and was not going to let himself become another victim. Hayes wasn't looking for trouble -- trouble came looking for him. Thankfully, he was trained and prepared for such a situation and seemingly took appropriate action.

Put yourself in Hayes' shoes for a minute. If someone is desparate enough to rob your pizza store armed with a shotgun, then is it really that much of a stretch to imagine that they might actually use that shotgun? I don't think that most rational thinkers would say that it was, which ultimately legitimizes Hayes' use of deadly force.

The sad thing about this situation is that there are really no winners. Finney is dead and Hayes has to live with killing another human. Even though he was acting in self-defense, his actions will play heavily on his mind in the months and years ahead.

Anonymous said...

He's a good aim with a 9mm, but his pizza is a little on the lame side.

Anonymous said...

I, too, support Hayes in his decision to protect himself and his business. I read the comments on the ABJ website and there were comments on why he had to shoot him so many times. Well, I would have been scared out of my wits if someone had a gun pointed at my head, and would have wanted to be sure that the thug wouldn't be able to kill me, so I would have shot til he wasn't moving.

I read today that business is down for his shop. I don't understand this. I would think that people would come to his shop and support him by ordering some food. I worry for him, I'm afraid someone will try to get even with him.

Anonymous said...

Have we all become such fools and cowards? What is wrong with standing up for yourself? What is wrong with defending your right to safely and honestly run and operate a business?

You will find no sympathy here for Finney, the fool who thought he could take another man's hard-earned money. Indeed, he got what he deserved! He tried to rob someone at gunpoint, so BAM, BAM, BAM, he's DEAD! If one of his thug wannabe buddies tries to get revenge on Hayes, I hope Hayes shoots and kills him, too! If all shopowners carried guns and knew how to use them, I think there would be far fewer robberies.

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