‘I WAS THINKING WE HAD TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE’: S.C. Barber And His Client Fatally Shoot Armed Robber Who Stormed Barbershop in Harrowing Stickup

A would-be South Carolina robber who tried to stick up a barber shop was killed Friday when the lead stylist and his client pulled out their concealed weapons and opened fire on the intruder.

A second suspect is still on the lam following the raid at Next Up Barber Shop in Columbia, officials said. Store surveillance video caught the harrowing invasion — and the resulting shooting.

The shop was packed with customers — including young children — when two gunmen stormed into the store and demanded cash, barber Brandon Dreher said.

“They forced all the customers and kids to put their hands up and they were starting to go in everyone’s pockets,” he told WLTX.

When the robbers demanded head barber Elmurray Bookman fork over his wallet, the stylist said it was on a chair across the room. As the gunman turned his back to find the money, the client in Bookman’s chair pulled out a concealed weapon and shot at the suspect, he said.

A barber and his client at Next Up Barber Shop in Columbia, S.C., opened fire on two would-be robbers.

Bookman, who was armed with a concealed gun, started shooting, too.

“I was thinking we had to keep everybody safe,” he told The State newspaper.

Both men have concealed carry permits, officials said.

One of the thieves was shot and taken to a local hospital where he died, officials said. The second robber escaped, and police are still looking for the fugitive.

No one else in the barber shop was hurt during the robbery-turned-shooting.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts says authorities are trying to locate the family of the suspect who died before releasing his identity, and officials have not identified the on-the-lam suspect.

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