NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- A New Haven convenience store owner fought back against a man trying to rob him and won Tuesday night.
The owner fired off two shots in his store which was enough to scare him off. It was the third time he's faced a gun in an attempted robbery.
Seventy-year-old Edilberto Fontanez has owned Eddie's Market on Sylvan Avenue in New Haven for 40 years.
Coming from his native Puerto Rico, he's proud of the business he's built. He's been able to put four children through college by working hard day in, day out seven days a week, and he says no one has the right to take away his hard earned money.
"This is like my house, I open up here 6:30 in the morning until 9 o'clock seven days a week for 40 years, this is my house, this is my business," Fontanez said.
Tuesday evening he took matters into his own hands when a convicted felon tried to take away his money. 24-year-old Brandon Mills, of New Haven, allegedly came into Fontanez's business, pointed a gun at him and tried to rob him.
Fontanez, behind the counter, grabbed his own gun and fired off two shots. The bullets went through a can in the store and layers of women's stockings, but did not hit the gunman.
Mills, who is suspected in several robberies in the same Hill neighborhood, was caught moments later by police for which Fontanez is grateful.
"These people got the right to carry a gun, they've got the right to rob people, they've got the right to kill people," Fontanez said. "What about us? What we got? We've gotta have some rights too."
Fontanez has been face-to-face with robbers two times before, both times with armed suspects. All three times Fontanez has been able to scare them off. He is steadfast saying he has the right to fight back for what he has built in America.
Police say Mills tried to pull a gun from his backpack when officers caught up to him.
He faces attempted robbery and gun charges. Additionally, police say he could be responsible for many crimes that are still under investigation.
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