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Robbery suspect injured in gunfight

Originally ran here as:
"Robbery suspect injured in gunfight"
by Jodi Nirode, Staff Writer
Columbus Dispatch
December 21, 2001

OBETZ, OHIO -- A quiet Obetz pizza shop erupted in gunfire last night when a business owner opened fire on a robber, possibly saving the lives of an employee and customer.

About 9 p.m., a gunman wearing a ski mask walked into Ricardo's Pizza Shop, 4265 Alum Creek Dr., and demanded money, Obetz Police Sgt. Glenn Goldsberry said.

The shop's owner, Rick Snyder, said he complied but the money in the till wasn't good enough for the masked gunman.

"He wanted me to show him where the safe was. I told him I didn't have a safe. He didn't believe me," Snyder said.

The gunman then ordered Snyder and a customer who was inside to get down on their knees and empty their pockets.

"He kept saying 'I'm going to kill you,' " as he kept moving his handgun back and forth between two men's heads.

Snyder said he feared the gunman was about to carry out his threat when Joe Loy, the shop's driver, came in.

The gunman turned his attentions to Loy, ordering him outside to kneel in front of the business.

Snyder said that's when he grabbed his .357-caliber revolver that had been sitting in plain view by the cash register.

Loy told police that the robber cocked the gun next to his head as Snyder came out firing. Snyder emptied his six-shot revolver and the gunman fired several shots as he ran away, Goldsberry said.

"It was like a country-western shootout. We were like 5 feet away," firing at one another, Snyder said.

Spent shell casings and bloodied bullets that went through the gunman lay around the business.

Snyder, a former Navy SEAL, proved to be the better shot.

Shortly after, a 28-year-old man who had been shot five times was dropped off at Mount Carmel East and later transferred to Mount Carmel West.

Whoever left the man at the hospital sped off.

The man was in surgery late last night, and his condition was unknown, police said.

Snyder, who was at Mount Carmel West waiting to identify the wounded man, was not hurt in the shootout.

He said he was pulling for the man.

"Even though he didn't have any remorse for us, I don't want him to die," Snyder said.

He said he wondered whether the robbery and shooting were related to a threat he received about a week ago from a man demanding a free pizza. Snyder refused and exchanged words with the man.

The man then allegedly threatened Snyder.

Snyder said he called 911, but Obetz police refused to take a report.

Goldsberry acknowledged that Snyder was told the threat wasn't worthy of a 911 call, but said it was too early to speculate whether the two were connected.

The sergeant said he wanted to see whether the robbery could be connected to another on Alum Creek Drive earlier this week where a man made off with two beers.

The man was chased by Obetz police. The chase was called off when the man appeared to be reaching for a gun.

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