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3 year old distracts robber, dad kills them

Fatal Distraction
Girl Gives Dad Time to Shoot and Kill Armed Robbers

Originally published at:


N E W  Y O R K, Dec. 26 — A 3-year-old girl’s cry of “Don’t hurt my daddy” distracted two Brooklyn deli robbers enough to allow her father, an off-duty detective, to draw his gun and shoot them dead, police said.
Jonathan Lynch and James Culberson allegedly barged into the Two Flag Deli Grocery in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn on Christmas Eve armed with a gun and a knife. They allegedly demanded money and told the four people in the bodega — 36-year-old Det. Michael Zeller, his wife and their two children, Michael, 5 months old, and Devin, 3 years old — to hit the floor, which they did.

“Don’t hurt my daddy,” Devin snapped at the robbers, distracting them.

Zeller said he leaped to his feet, shielded Devin and fired eight shots, felling the robbers in his mother-in-law’s bodega.

“All I was thinking was I had to protect my family,” Zeller told the New York Post in today’s editions.

On Parole

Lynch, 32, of Brooklyn, was on parole for robbery. He was hit once in the chest and died at the scene.

He had an arrest record dating to the mid-1980s. He had several stints in prison, most recently for a grocery store robbery in 1995. He was paroled in February.

Culberson, 25, of Queens, had been arrested seven times. He was hit twice in the chest and died at a hospital about 45 minutes later.

He was sentenced to three days of community service after being charged with first-degree robbery in November 1999 but pleading guilty to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct. The details of six other arrests were sealed by the courts.

Zeller acted appropriately when he fired on the robbers, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said.

“I think he actually will be commended for it,” Giuliani said on Monday, “because he ended up foiling a robbery in progress.”

15 Years on the Force

Zeller, a 15-year New York Police Department veteran, and his family members were uninjured. He was treated at a hospital for emotional trauma.

The NYPD planned to investigate the shooting, but the circumstances did not require Zeller to be placed on mandatory leave.

Zeller’s mother-in-law, Hilda Nieves, was not in the bodega because she had gone to her apartment across the street to tuck some of her grandchildren into bed, neighbors said.

Nieves declined interviews on Monday.

NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed, without profit, for research or educational purposes. We do our best, as well, to give credit to the original news source who published these Guns Save Lives stories out of respect and appreciation for their willingness to spread the word that Guns Save Lives. God Bless the Americans that publish these stories - for assisting Americans in hearing the truth.


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