MUNCIE - Four would-be bandits drove nearly 90 minutes before they decided to get help for one of them who had been shot in the stomach when their robbery attempt turned into a shoot-out, police said Thursday.
And when they did get help, the other three wouldn't go to the hospital.
Instead, fearing they would be caught by the police, the men, all from the Chicago area, dropped their accomplice off with a friend in Johnson County.
The injured would-be bandit, identified by police as 20-year-old Dustin Fredericksen of Lowell, Ind., was being treated late Thursday at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
Fredericksen was shot when he and three other men, two of whom are now in custody, walked into Prairie Creek Pawn Shop wearing masks. Before anyone exchanged a word, Fredericksen held a revolver to a potato as if it was a silencer and fired it at the head of owner Adam Kennedy who immediately drew his own gun and fired back, according to witnesses and police.
In all, at least four shots were fired within 10 seconds as Kennedy and three of the men stood about 10 feet from each other.
Investigators said Thursday they believe that the four men planned to shoot Kennedy and then rob him.
"They were going to shoot him right off the bat," Muncie Police Sgt. Al Williams said. "It was by the grace of God [Kennedy] didn't get shot."
Since the robbery, Kennedy has reopened his pawn shop, although it was closed for nearly a day while he cleaned up pieces of the potato splattered throughout the store when Fredericksen tried unsuccessfully to use it as a silencer.
The owner said he plans to install some "security devices" to protect him in the future.
As for the gun. It's still going to be at his side.
"If I didn't have my gun, I wouldn't be talking right now," he said. "I always wondered what I would do in that situation. Now I know."