An armed robber stormed Fair Haven’s Babe’s Market last year and cleaned out the cash register. Another showed up Tuesday night—but this time Karar Jawad was armed and ready.
Police said Jawad, who carries a state pistol permit, shot a masked alleged robber. The incident took place at 10:19 p.m. The robber and an alleged accomplice fled; the robber ended up in the hospital. Wednesday night police went to the hospital, put the man under arrest, then had him kept under 24-hour guard, according to Lt. Julie Johnson, head of the police department’s Major Crimes Unit.
In an interview at Babe’s on Ferry Street Wednesday evening, Karar said he fired two shots. (Reader’s note: A video of the incident was removed at the clerk’s request.). The 22-year-old convenience store clerk recently took over ownership of the market from his father.
His father was the one was got robbed last year.
“The time they robbed my dad, that’s the time I knew I had to get myself something to protect myself,” Karar said. So Karar got his .40 Glock and permit in April.
Babe’s Market, a small convenience store, stacks mostly snack foods and canned goods. It has two aisles of goods; a few coolers and refrigerators line the walls.
From behind the counter, Karar recalled his brush with the alleged robber.
Around 10:18 p.m. Tuesday, Jawad was behind the counter with his girlfriend and some friends. Everyone was chatting and having a good time, he said.
Suddenly, two young men—one of them armed—dressed all in black stormed in. They yelled at everyone to get on the ground. One of them pointed a gun to the head of the lone customer in line and demanded his money.
“That’s all the money he had,” Jawad remembered of the customer. “It was like $66.” He said the customer was in line to buy half a gallon of milk.
At that point, Jawad was the only one standing; everyone else was on the floor. The armed man turned to Jawad and pointed the gun at his chest.
“I didn’t think. My head was blank for a second,” he recalled.
But his mind started to work again as the robber asked for more money. That’s when Jawad pretended to reach for his billfold. He instead took out his gun and held it behind his back for a second.
His girlfriend saw him.
“Don’t do it! Don’t it!” she cried.
He did anyway, “because I had to,” Jawad said. “The gun was pointed at my chest.”
He had never shot anyone before.
The armed robber stumbled to a corner of the store, fell to the ground, picked himself up and started running. Jawad shot him again as he was leaving the store.
Both the robbers jumped into a car that was waiting outside with another driver, and the three sped away, Jawad said.
After Jawad got his pistol and permit in April he posted signs in front of the counter to inform customers—and anyone up to no good—that someone who works at the store had a gun.
“I guess he didn’t read it well,” Jawad said, chuckling.
According to Lt. Johnson, the robber showed up later at a hospital reporting a gunshot wound in the area of his shoulder and chest. He claimed he had been shot on Ashmun Street, across town in the Dixwell neighborhood.
Detective David Zaweski (a onetime Independent Cop of the Week) led an investigation into the shooting. But Wednesday night he was able to piece together the evidence to charge the alleged robber, an 18-year-old New Haven man, Johnson said.
A search of the state’s judicial database turned up no previous convictions or pending criminal charges against the arrestee.
Johnson confirmed Jawad has a permit for his gun. Even if he hadn’t had one, a storeowner or clerk is allowed to keep one at work and use it if his life is threatened, Johnson said. Jawad definitely had reason to fear for his life, Johnson said, and he had a legal right to fire at the alleged robber. As a result, police did not charge him with a crime.
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posted by: Charlie Bronson on November 30, 2011 9:47pm
Great job protecting yourself and refusing to be a victim!
posted by: Hill on December 1, 2011 2:29am
Don’t mess with Babes in Fair Haven, or Wing Madness on Dixwell Ave. The owners have no problem standing up to would be robbers with guns of their own.
posted by: Curious on December 1, 2011 7:17am
That’s awesome. Where’s his hug from Dean Esserman?
posted by: Yeah on December 1, 2011 7:55am
Good for him. Now that is Community Policing at it’s finest. Support the 2nd!
posted by: swatty on December 1, 2011 9:02am
you mess with the bull, you’re gonna get the horns!
posted by: Dontadvertiseurpiece on December 1, 2011 9:27am
“I guess he didn’t read it well,” Jawad said, chuckling.
Take down the sign. The next perp who can read will shoot first and then rob the register.
posted by: The99pct. on December 1, 2011 9:45am
Wait a minute! Have we gone insane?? The robber didn’t shoot first. And this store owner shot him as he was leaving! The robber was probably taking food to feed his family. The store owner, most likely a member of the 1%, shot a defenseless man.
This owner should be locked up and the key should be thrown away. Wait…i mean that he should be locked up and provided with cable tv, internet, and cellphone privileges and of course job training and counseling, and conjugal visits while in prison so he doesn’t become a repeat offender.
Then he ought to be let out of prison early, and of course be guaranteed a job because he will then have special interest status due to his ex-offender status.
posted by: Paul on December 1, 2011 10:01am
Turned out well this time but he is also lucky to be alive, that gun was about 6 inches away from his chest - story could easily be dead shopkeeper.
posted by: Noteworthy on December 1, 2011 10:10am
This is real community policing a/k/a Cap and Hold. Has Esserman been to the hospital yet?
posted by: anon on December 1, 2011 10:19am
Sounds like this story could have ended differently, as two (or three) homicides.
State Legislators, can we raise the penalties for robbery / gun use? Most of the prisoners are non-violent offenders, so if we just lighten their sentences and stop sending people to prison for marijuana use, there should be plenty of room for the gun offenders to go in for much longer sentences.
This could deter these crimes, which devastate our urban economy much more than other things people to go to prison for.
posted by: 99% brain dead on December 1, 2011 10:30am
Using 99%‘s logic, when im hungry, refuse to work a job that isn’t ideal for my standards and there are no handouts left for me to take advantage of, I should point a gun (which intends I have no qualm in taking their life) at a hardworking shop owner who is a benefit to society to take their hard earned goods and wealth (...wait isn’t that socialism)
Kudos to this man for defending his property and sending a message. This is just another benefit of the second ammendment and the right to concealed carry. When you’re unsure of who has a gun you’re less willing to pull one on someone else. When areas of our nation are made ‘gun free’, the only ones with guns are criminals, making the law abiding citizen a prime target. When the 2nd ammendment remains unrestricted a drop in crime is seen.
posted by: Curious on December 1, 2011 10:51am
Brain Dead, 99% was being sarcastic.
Anon, I bet this guy will be out in no time, given his age and his lack of criminal history.
I am just hoping the robber and his friends don’t go back for revenge, or shoot this store owner on his way out of the store at night, or follow him home and do something there.
posted by: The Real 99% on December 2, 2011 3:21am
I applaud this guy for having the courage to take down the robber. The robber had no problem sticking a gun in his face, terrifying him, and most likely would have shot him statistically. It is the guns, that are, out there illegally that have crimes attached to them. More private citizens should carry a fire arm. I believe the crime rate would decrease. In Connecticut most permit holders are lead to believe that their permit is for concealed carry only… This is not true… You have the right in CT to open carry according to the law. Maybe we should open carry more often. Officers of the law would probably appreciate it, because then they would automatically know you had a firearm and where it was. It may also act as a deterrent to criminals.
posted by: Mopar on December 2, 2011 8:30am
What a great story. Since Lt Johnson has confirmed the clerk had a right to defend himself and would not be charged, perhaps NHPD can return his legally owned gun to him ASAP so he doesnt need to spend $600 to replace it.
posted by: Mister Jones on December 2, 2011 12:00pm
The99pct was being sarcastic, but Mr. Jawad is lucky he didn’t kill the robber with his second round of shots as the guy was leaving. Self-defense doesn’t necessarily cover shooting a guy as he’s running away.
posted by: Scott Wilson on December 2, 2011 4:28pm
Thank Goodness you made it through your ordeal and intact Jawad. Hats off to the Police for not trying to make up charges on you. Hopefully you will get your piece back soon.