Florida store owner fires warning shot at thief, who returns stolen beer

WESH image

COCOA, Fla. (WESH) —A Cocoa store owner said he chased off a would-be thief at gunpoint on Wednesday morning and forced the man to give back stolen beer.

This was the fifth time that the store owner has used his gun to defend his store and himself. Store owner Sowann Suy temporarily closed his store after the most recent shooting.

Suy said on Wednesday, he fired a warning shot at a suspected thief who tried to beat him up and steal some beer.

A witness said the man came out of the door with a beer in each pocket and Sowann was right behind him with his gun.

“I told him to give my beer back, and he ignored it. I pointed a gun at him, and he gave me my beer back, and I shot one bullet in the air,” Suy said.

It was not the first time Suy has shot a suspected thief.

Rescuers airlifted the first would-be robber shot by Sowann in 2009. “He had a perfect right to defend himself; everyone does,” said Barbara Matthews, with the Cocoa Police Department.

In 2010, surveillance video shows Suy, gun in hand, chasing another thief, and in 2016, he shot pictures on his phone of a third robber lying on the ground with three of Sowann’s bullets in him.

“People are lazy; don’t want to work. They want easy stuff. That’s not right. You live in the United States, should be everybody has to work hard for it; earn your own money,” Suy told WESH 2 News.

Suy’s friends, some of who call him Clint Eastwood, have defended his actions.

“He’s a wonderful family guy. And why people come over here doing this to him, I have no clue,” Harold Davis said

Police are questioning the man Sowann said tried to steal the beer.

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