Man shot after attempting to rob store with knife

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RICHWOODS, MO (KTVI) – A Washington County man is hospitalized after his alleged attempt to rob a small town store backfired badly. Deputies say the robber literally violated the old truism, “Never take a knife to a gunfight.”

Harley Johnson, 24, of Cadet, is accused of doing just that in his effort to rob Cobb’s Grocery in Richwoods, Missouri, Tuesday morning.

Ron Cobb has owned the place for more than three decades. Among other things, Cobb and his family are gun enthusiasts. Signs in the front window touting the second amendment clearly suggest that people inside are armed.

This is where Johnson arrived and allegedly walking in wearing a bandana on his face.

“He had a big can of mace and a hunting knife,” Cobb said of Johnson. “My son pulled a gun out and pointed at him. The guy run to the door and turned around and that’s when my son shot him.”

Johnson was hit in the abdomen by Kenny Cobb, who tells FOX 2 it was that action of turning around and pointing the knife at he and his wife a second time that led him to fire.

Johnson, now injured, managed to leave the store and get into the stolen pickup he was driving. He made it about four miles before being stopped by a Washington County deputy who was in the area.

“He was in the right area. He was probably about four miles away when the call came out,” Captain Michael Gum of the sheriff’s department said.

Johnson is now under guard at a St. Louis hospital. He will be held on $75,000 bond once he’s out.

Back in Richwoods, neighbors are shocked, not so much that a crime happened, but that anyone would be foolish enough to try to rob Cobb’s.

“Everybody knows he’s got weapons and that,” neighbor Dennis Spratt said. “You don’t rob that man. No one around here, they know better for years. He’s been a retired police officer and firefighter.”

Cobb’s son, who fired the shots, was released after brief questioning and was back running the store by noon, just three hours after the incident. Just the same, police aren’t saying one way or another if he might face any charges.


    • Voltron

      Obviously you weren’t paying attention his dad (a Gun enthusiast) owns the store. It’s not like this was a pistol wielding wal-mart employee.

  • kraftig

    You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight ! And you don’t pick Richwoods to rob someone ……………….., are you crazy !

  • tiredofourgovernment


  • Heather Cobb

    This is my parents store. The employee is my brother. He had every right to have the gun. I am proud of what my brother did.

  • Patty

    The shooter shouldn’t be charged with anything. He was protecting himself and his family. I say good job.

  • MJ

    The story is not over yet.

    Charge may be brought against the shooter if it is determined the robber was not in a position to be a threat. Holding a knife and a can of mace at a long distance and not charging the victim may bring a charge of uneccessay use of discharging a fire arm.

    You can not discharge a fire arm at someone in retreat even though they are a scumbag criminal. We have all seen videos of arm citizens running out the door firing their guns as the criminals are in retreat.

    It’s important that each gun owner know when it is appropriate to use leathal force for self defense.

    • 2cents

      please dont throw fuel on the fire.. when he entered the store and displayed a knife thats it! its up to him to figure out how he is gonna get out that door alive! how he did it? miracle he still has his head! how many videos have we seen of that last second attempt to attack at the door!

    • Martha Turner

      The story is over. The scum bag threated the owner’s wife. He got what he deserived. The crouts can’t seem to put shit like this behind bars the people haveto defend them selves.

    • Monkman

      “Charge may be brought against the shooter if it is determined the robber was not in a position to be a threat. Holding a knife and a can of mace at a long distance and not charging the victim may bring a charge of unnecessary use of discharging a firearm.”

      Please explain to us why the armed criminal scumbag turned back around toward the family. Was he just going to smile at them and wave good-bye? Yeah, that makes sense.

  • Kenny

    If the guy didn’t want shot, he shouldn’t have turned back and pointed that mace at me, had I been blinded by the mace (less the 5ft away) he could of easily rushed me and stabbed me, thebn he would of had my gun, then what?

  • Monkman

    Feel good story of the day. It should be very dangerous, even deadly, being an armed criminal. He got exactly what he deserved. Thumbs up to the Cobb family!

  • Paul Van Doren

    No way on God’s green earth should the family of a store in this case be put on trial. Instead give this family and the son a medal for a clean shot. Once a person points a deadly weapon and as far as I know a knife is still a deadly weapon at anyone, you have a right to defend yourself. The person had mace and was running out the door. No shots fired, but when the person looked back that is when shots fired. All says clean shot and I pray everyone see it the same as I do. If someone is pointing a deadly weapon at you; it really doesn’t matter how far away they are from you, that person is still a threat. Thank God for the 2nd Amendment still.

  • GodHatesNegros

    We need guy’s like that all over this crime invested country. Specifically in areas where the monkey’s run wild!

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