Customer wrestles gun away from armed man at convenience store

By: Carrie Thompson
By: Carrie Thompson

Knoxville (WVLT) - A convenience store customer wrestles a gun away from a man sheriff's deputies say was threatening to shoot him and another person.

Knox County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Martha Dooley says around 4:30 Thursday afternoon, 18-year-old Derrick Burleson walked into the Pioneer Market on Chapman Highway to see his ex-girlfriend.

They argued, then Dooley says Burleson threatened his girlfriend's ex-husband and another customer, Robert Finchom, with a gun.
That's when Finchom took action.

"This guy just walked up and poked a gun at my head and started arguing with this old lady behind the counter, you know. I just took it like it was a joke for a minute, but no it wasn't no joke. When this other guy walks in and says 'that's my old lady,' and then started chasing each other around the store. He realized he had a gun, then he started running out the door, so I took the guy's gun away from him," Finchom said.

Dooley says after Finchom took Burleson's gun away from him, Burleson then cut his own throat with a butcher knife.

He was taken to UT Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. When he gets out of the hospital, Dooley says he faces numerous charges.

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  • by HJHHDTJEJ Location: ETJETJETJ on Mar 3, 2008 at 02:25 PM
  • by TNRDR Location: Knoxville on Feb 24, 2008 at 07:31 AM
    Too bad the knife wasn't sharper, could have had another idiot off the streets!
  • by girl next door Location: South Knoxville on Feb 23, 2008 at 01:16 AM
    This guy lived in my old neighborhood, I think he has been off his rocker for awhile now. He just needed what "we" got when we were kids,a good old fashioned belt whipping... A little dicsipline could have gone a long way.Maybe he wouldn't have turned out this BAD. I will say this, he needs to stay locked up for quite a long time where he can get mental help. As for the X girlfriend twice his age well I could say a few things, but they would be somewhat inappropriate for some readers. I will say that I feel sorry for the store clerk that was also threatened by him. She was only there trying to do her job when this jerk came in and started all the comotion. Hopefully people in Tarklin Valley can rest tonight knowing the trouble is off the streets for now.
  • by lucky Location: seymour on Feb 21, 2008 at 11:15 PM
    That guy is lucky I wasn't in that store I would have put a bullet in him.. Finchum is a hero, but he could have been killed. I would have just drawn my legally carried weapon and shot the guy.


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