TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- 24 year old Joey Tapley was a key witness in Friday's armed robbery for weapons inside the Academy Sports and Outdoors store in Topeka.
(Courtesy: Bryan Hallman)
He recalled the moments before the robbery, saying, "I was at the counter buying bullets with my cousin and I heard some loud bangs. I look up and they are just loading up weapons from the counter and then they run off and my instincts kicked in."
Tapley followed the three suspects described only as white males ages 16 or 17, after they stole several rifles and an undisclosed amount of cash. Once outside, Tapley pulled out his own weapon.
"I told him drop the gun man, mine is loaded , just drop the gun. We made eye contact for a second or two and he dropped two guns and ran," said Tapley.
Police officers arrested the teens along with an unidentified woman in the area of Southwest 6th and Fairlawn. The teenage boys were booked into the Juvenile Center on assault, burglary and robbery charges. The female was booked on conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.
Tapley who carries his gun without a concealed carry permit says his heroics wouldn't have been possible without Governor Brownback's approval of the law that took effect just under 2 weeks ago on July 1.
"Thats why Kansas made the law. So citizens can carry and protect themselves and others. I guess my instincts just took over," said Tapley.
All the cash and rifles stolen were recovered by the Topeka police.
Kansas is just one of seven states to allow residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit.