Man Arrested in Byron Food Mart Armed Robbery

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Photo by: Stephen Eugene Wade

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Updated: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 01:34:42 EST

Stephen Eugene Wade was arrested Friday by Byron police  in connection with Wednesday's armed robbery at the American Eagle Food Mart.

Wade is being held at the Peach County LEC.

When Umphria Maston opened the door to the American Eagle Food Mart late Wednesday, he got more than he bargained for.

A man standing over six feet tall entered with a shotgun and threatened to kill Maston and his wife, both clerks at the store.

"I've always learned if anything ever happens, give them the money," said Maston. "It's not worth your life. When he said it, it didn't happen that way. When I heard the word kill, my wife popped in my head. He's gonna kill us anyway. Everything went so fast. I'm not gonna die like that. I'm not going to go out like that."

Maston grabbed the shotgun and wouldn't let go, even when the firearm went off. The two men wrestled around until they were outside the building and both exhausted. Maston ran back into the store, the suspect ran off. 

Byron Police Chief Wesley Cannon said the best course of action in a robbery is to cooperate and give the person the money.

He also points out that during the struggle the barrel of the loaded shotgun was within range of Maston's wife's head no less than three times.    

"But in this situation it was a little bit different," Cannon said. "When he opened the door the gun was right in his face immediately. And all he could hear was a guy telling him he's gonna kill him. So he made the decision then to grab the weapon and to try to fight for his life and his wife's life. And fortunately it turned out good in the end but they were very, very fortunate."

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