Driver recalls fighting back during robbery
Published 5:00 am Wednesday, April 15, 2009
A Golden Flake truck driver from Brookhaven said God’sprotection and his own will to live are what kept him alive whenhis delivery truck was robbed at gunpoint Monday morning in ruralCopiah County.
“I don’t know if I was mad and that’s what made me fight back,but I decided I was not going to let myself get shot and killed,”said Alvin Lyons, who was shot in the right foot during thestruggle with his unknown assailant.
Lyons said his day started off normally and running his route asusual. Then he saw a man trying to flag him down on the side of theroad shortly after 9 a.m. on Clear Creek Road.
“The guy walked up to the truck door, and when I opened it, hestepped up with a gun in his hand,” he said. “He said to just drivethe truck and follow his directions, but not to look at him. I’mnot sure where we were because I’m not really familiar with thatpart of the area.”
The gunman, who police said is a black male with a bald head andgold tooth, told Lyons he wanted his money bag. Lyons told the manit was not as full as usual because at that point in the morningall his deliveries had been to stores with charge accounts.
“He got really upset and said he was going to blow my … brainsout, so I told him I had some money in my billfold, and he couldjust take it and go,” Lyons said.
It was at that point that Lyons decided to fight back. As theman reached for the billfold, Lyons grabbed the gun and the gunmanbegan to fire.
Lyons said authorities told him at least two of the bullets wentinto the floorboard by the seat of the truck, with one of themstriking him in the foot, although he wouldn’t feel it untillater.
“We fought over the gun and it went off three or four moretimes,” Lyons said, adding he’d been told it struck the windshield,the door and shelves. “I don’t know if it ended up he headbutted meor what, but my glasses got broken and it ended up jerking the gunand I fell backwards to the floor of the truck.”
It was at that point that God’s hand was most visible, Lyonssaid.
“He was standing there and he pointed the gun at me, and pulledthe trigger, and the gun just clicked,” he said. “As I understandit, the sheriff said it was empty at that time.”
He referred to a sign he keeps attached to the dash of thetruck.
“It says ‘Always,’ because the Lord is with you always, and Hewas with me yesterday,” he said Tuesday. “And I’m fine thismorning, just kind of bruised up, but definitely blessed that itturned out like it did.”
Lyons said he heard a car door slam and a vehicle drive off, sohe began to assess his injuries. Besides the gunshot wound to thefoot, he had a wound on his left hand that he isn’t sure if it camefrom a bullet or from the slide of the gun when he grabbed it.
“But basically that’s the only two wounds I got, and a couple ofknots in my hand,” he said.
Lyon said the man got his wallet and cell phone. Furtherinformation on the incident was not available for the Copiah CountySheriff’s Department.
“But I had just made my mind up, if he was going to kill me Iwas going to put up a fight,” Lyons continued. “I wasn’t just goingto let him shoot and kill me.”
After flagging down a passing truck, Lyons was taken to HardyWilson Memorial Hospital in Hazlehurst where he was treated andreleased. He said while he’s grateful to be all in one piece, he isdefinitely rethinking some of his policies as he runs hisroutes.
“People keep asking me why did I stop? In the potato chipbusiness, I have a lot of country stores and little mom-and-popshops that if they’re out of potato chips and they see me they’llflag me down if it’s not their day to be worked,” he said. “Ithought that’s what this situation was – until he got up on thetruck with a gun.
“When I go back to work, I will be notifying all my customers Iwill not be stopping anywhere but at their stores,” Lyon said. “I’mcertainly not stopping on the side of the road anymore like I havein the past.”