Darwin Award – We have a winner

On 3 February 1990, David Zaback attempted to hold up H&J Leather & Firearms Ltd., a gun shop located in Renton Highlands near Seattle, Washington. About 4:40 p.m. that day, he entered the crowded shop and announced his intention to rob it by telling everyone to put their hands on the counter and saying if anybody moved, he’d kill them.

POMPANO BEACH, FL – APRIL 11: As the U.S. Senate takes up gun legislation in Washington, DC , Mike Acevedo puts a weapon on display at the National Armory gun store on April 11, 2013 in Pompano Beach, Florida. The Senate voted 68-31 to begin debate on a bill that would significantly expand background checks for gun sales. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The following mind-boggling attempt at a crime spree in Washington appeared to be the robber’s first (and last), due to his lack of a previous record of violence, and his terminally stupid choices:

1. His target was H&J Leather & Firearms, a gun shop specializing in handguns.

2. The shop was full of customers – firearms customers.

3. To enter the shop, the robber had to step around a marked police car parked at the front door.

4. A uniformed officer was standing at the counter, having coffee before work.

Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a hold-up, and fired a few wild shots from a .22 target pistol. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, the police officer with a 9mm Glock 17, the clerk with a .50 Desert Eagle, assisted by several customers who also drew their guns, several of whom also fired.

The robber was pronounced dead at the scene by Paramedics. Crime scene investigators located 47 expended cartridge cases in the shop. The subsequent autopsy revealed 23 gunshot wounds. Ballistics identified rounds from 7 different weapons.

No one else was hurt in the exchange of fire. It’s unclear how many shots were fired, in part because some of the suspect’s shots struck ammunition on a counter, causing the ammunition to explode. “There were slugs all over that place”