A waitress was fired from a Waffle House in Newnan, Georgia after she pulled a gun on three would be robbers. Now, the franchise is experiencing a plethora of robberies nationwide due to their gun free zone policy.
Coweta County authorities are looking for three robbery suspects who threatened to shoot everyone inside of a Waffle House.
The robbery happened around 2:30 a.m. Thursday at the restaurant on Highway 29 in Newnan.
Deputies said the robbers gave a note to a waitress that threatened to shoot everyone unless she gave them money.
A different waitress, Heather Stanley, went to her car to get a gun and fired one shot into the air while the robbers ran to their cars. She said she fired in the air because she didn’t want to hit a nearby gas tank.
“I didn’t know if they had guns. I didn’t know if they were going to their vehicle to get another one and could come back and try to get to the safe, so my instinct was to go to my car and get the gun,” Stanley said.
Of course, she was merely trying to protect both the lives of her co-workers and guests, as well as the money and property of Waffle House. For that, they fired her.
“For trying to protect their Waffle House and trying to protect their money and to get their money back, they let me go,” she said.
However, she doesn’t regret her actions.
“I know what I did. To myself I felt it was right and wouldn’t hesitate, I would do it again,” she said.
Waffle House is aware of what took place, but would not comment. However, they did release a statement:
We are very fortunate that no associate or customer were harmed in this tragic incident. It is Waffle House, Inc., policy not to allow firearms with the exception of law enforcement officers, including security guards. It is our understanding that the customer involved was an off duty security guard who was carrying his firearm and the incident occurred outside the restaurant.
We are well aware that different people and businesses have varying opinions regarding this issue, and we respect the right of all to have different opinions. However, we continue to believe this is the best policy for the safety of our customers and associates.
“That bullet could have went anywhere, hit anyone, but I definitely think she had the right to defend herself,” said Jamika Render, a neighbor of Waffle House.
That is the one thing I think Ms. Stanley should not have done. Firing into the air was not necessary and was dangerous. Simply pulling the gun on the would be robbers would have been enough. Still, Render is right. She does have the right to defend herself and others.
Waffle House should have an armed guard if they are going to attempt to render their employees defenseless against criminals.
Stanley, a mother of two, says her firing is a huge blow to her family as it was her sole source of income. She now has a GoFundMe page for those willing to help.
Melissa Dykes points out that Waffle Houses are experiencing this all across the country. “Just Google “Waffle House robbed at gunpoint” and you’ll see that just in the last few months alone, Waffle Houses have been stormed by armed robbers in Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas. This location in Little Rock was robbed twice in the same day. This robber in the Dallas, Texas area robbed two different Waffle Houses in the same day in December. Most of them get away with it, too.”
This is the third Waffle House robbery in Coweta County since September. Though they are not apparently related at this point, one thing is clear: Waffle House’s no gun policy only emboldens criminals to do these things.