21 Aug 2014
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Shell Clerk With Gun Thwarts Robber, Loses Job

Bear Cothran knew the risks of carrying his registered firearm to work, his wife says.

Shell Clerk With Gun Thwarts Robber, Loses Job
The following story, about a weekend robbery at the Shell Station, 301 Main St., was told via Facebook, called to my attention late last night by a Nashua Patch reader who wrote:

"With the rash of recent armed robberies of convenience stors (sic) in the area, this needs to make the news."

I agree.

It is compelling enough to repost here as it was written by a Facebook user named Angel Darkenna, who urged others to share the story, so I am reposting here.

I will follow up with Nashua Police, clerk Bear Cothran – who according to this, lost his job for breaking company policy by carrying a weapon to work – and the company that owns the gas station, Nouria Energy.

Click here to read our interview with Bear Cothran
Originally Posted by Angel Darkenna:
"For those who haven't heard yet, last night someone attempted to rob the Shell station on Main Street in Nashua. A large man entered the station, quick-walked around the counter, drew a knife from his sleeve, and held it in a 'gutting' position, threatening the clerk. He told the clerk, whom we all know and love as  Bear Cothran, to give him all the money in the register, or, and this is a direct quote, 'I will kill you.' Bear took three steps back, drew his legally concealed firearm, and aimed it at the robber. At this point, the robber thought better of the situation and fled the store. The police were contacted, but have been as yet unable to find the man. Bear was, thankfully, not injured during the incident.

At 11:20 this morning, Bear received a phone call from his boss, informing him that, in spite of his status as a 10-year employee in good standing and both the store and district managers going to bat for him, he was being terminated. Nouria Energy ( http://www.nouriaenergy.com/), the franchise owner of the store (as well as the majority of the other Shell stations in the southern NH area), has a policy prohibiting employees from carrying weapons while on the clock. Bear was let go without any manner of severance for violating this policy.

Essentially, he protected the store's assets and his own well-being, in a manner in which no one was injured and no damage was done, and was fired for it.

Now, I support the right of Nouria Energy to choose to have such a policy. I think it's not a particularly good policy, given the business that they are in, but it's their right to make that decision. Just as it is my right to choose not to patronize their business ever again. If you agree with me, please join me in denying Nouria Energy your business.

EDIT: Nouria Energy Corp. is the franchise company that owns and operates this Shell station, and it was their policy that Bear broke. Nouria operates over 120 stations under the Shell and Lil Mart brands. It is these stations that I am asking you to avoid. http://www.nouriaenergy.com/store-locator.html

EDIT #2: From  Lee J. Lavallee, Bear's lovely wife:
"FYI: In regards to Bear's termination over last night's situation. He knew the risks of breaking company policy. Bear and I talked about them several times over the past few years, and more so these past several months due to the explosion of armed robberies in the Nashua/Manchester area (and the stabbing/shooting of unarmed gas station attendants at some of these robberies, like the one in Hooksett). And every time we brought up the subject we BOTH agreed that his life was far more important than the job. He knew it, and he did it anyhow. And I support him 100 percent. Guess what gang, we are getting ready to have legal paperwork signed in 2 weeks. 2 Weeks. And I would much rather be a wife of an unemployed, ethical, loyal, hardworking man than to be a widow of someone who simply followed company policy."

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