By Christina Hager, WBZ-TVBy Christina Hager

NASHUA, N.H. (CBS) — A convenience store clerk who was fired after he pulled a gun on a would-be robber is getting a lot of support.

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About 50 protesters rallied Saturday in front of the Shell gas station where Shannon Cothran, whose nickname is “Bear,” worked until his encounter with a robber. Car horns honked as they drove by the crowded sidewalk with colorful signs.

“Bring Bear back. He did the right thing,” 9-year-old Trey Philbrick wrote on a poster board.

Surveillance video shows a man with a mask and knife charging Cothran behind the counter at 3 a.m. Then it shows Cothran pulling out a pistol. The robber then runs out of the gas station empty-handed.

“I wouldn’t want to be a person working here right now in the middle of the night by myself,” Nashua resident Katherine Peterson said.

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“What did they do to keep my friend protected that he felt so endangered that he had to have his pistol at work with him? There’s no glass put up that’s between him and the customers. There’s no doors that keep people from coming behind the counter,” said Cothran’s friend who organized the rally.

The store is owned by Nouria Energy, which owns and operates 80 convenient stores. A company statement says, “Our policy of no weapons in the workplace is clear. Because it is a policy designed for the safety of all our employees it must be applied consistently to be effective.”

“I’m just so completely overwhelmed,” Cothran said when he saw the protesters. “My biggest concern at this point is that these issues get addressed, so that there’s a possibility that this situation never has to happen again.”


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Christina Hager