ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA – A man who allegedly went on a robbery spree armed with a knife is behind bars, according to the Asheville Police Department. They say officers were called to two locations on Monday evening for a reported armed robbery and attempted armed robbery.
The first incident occurred around 5:30 p.m. near the 700 block of Patton Avenue when a man entered a business, brandished a knife, and robbed customers and employees. Officers reviewed the store’s surveillance footage and interviewed witnesses to obtain a description of the suspect, who fled the scene in a vehicle.
The second call came around 6 p.m. at a business in the 400 block of Victoria Road, where the suspect unsuccessfully attempted to rob three individuals outside the business. The suspect also fled that scene, but police were also able to get a good description of the suspect and his vehicle from witnesses.
Later that evening, police were able to identify the suspect as 29-year-old Zachary Adam McInnis. He was apprehended, booked into the Buncombe County Jail, and charged with 2 counts of Armed Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, 3 counts of Attempted Armed Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, Felony Breaking and Entering, Felony Larceny and Driving with a Revoked License.
Crime can happen anywhere anytime, and a knife can be just as deadly as a firearm. Fortunately, none of the victims or intended victims in either incident were harmed. In North Carolina and 26 other states, an individual has the legal right to defend themselves or others against such threats with lethal force without the duty to retreat.
While a non-lethal response, such as pepper spray may temporarily blind and incapacitate an knife-wielding aggressor, there are no guarantees. A lethal response, such as wounding or killing the suspect, would likely be considered justifiable if all of the elements of the particular state’s self-defense laws are otherwise satisfied.
Every gun owner, and especially those who carry outside of their home or business, should be intimately familiar with the laws of their state regarding the use of lethal force in instances of self-defense.