BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A Bakersfield business owner said quick thinking and a bold move on his part kept a dangerous situation from turning deadly.
Max Muscle owner Jeff Ravelle said he and his girlfriend went into his nutrition and exercise supplement store off Gosford Road and White Lane to get receipts and money. He was in his store for only a few minutes early Sunday morning when the unthinkable happened.
"Next thing I know, there is a gun to the back of my head, telling me to get on the ground. I got on the ground right here, and he had the gun on me," Ravelle said.
His girlfriend was in the bathroom.
"(One of the men) made her strip naked and had a gun to her head. They told us that they were going to kill us like three times," Ravelle recounted the events Monday to Eyewitness News.
The men demanded money. Ravelle told them where they could get it. He even told them some was in his car. One of the suspects turned his back on Ravelle and walked towards the car.
"He turns around, and by then I already had my gun out. I didn't say nothing. I started firing, and he ran," the business owner said.
Ravelle chased the men out of the store and continued firing. He said his gun wasn't working properly or the situation would have ended differently.
"Lucky for him, it jammed, or he would have been dead. God knows what they were going to do to my girlfriend," Ravelle said.
The suspects were able to get away and were uninjured. They are still at large.
"Anybody that thinks people shouldn't carry guns, in this situation it saved my life, I have to disagree with them on that one. If I didn't have it that night I might not be here right now," Ravelle said.
Bakersfield police said situations with business owners fighting back happens from time to time, but it isn't a rising trend.
The police department also has video of the crime, but it isn't releasing it, yet.