The Marine veteran who stopped an armed robbery at a convenience store in Yuma, Arizona, during the early hours of Oct. 20 wants people to know that despite his service record, he’s not some kind of vigilante.
James Kilcer told Coffee or Die magazine that he’s “pogue as fuck” and not a “freakin’ Ricky Recon” hero.
The incident, however, certainly offers proof that the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program has real-world applications, even outside of service.
“Shit needed to be done,” he added. “I kind of saw what was coming my way and just, you know, I wasn’t gonna sit around and cry about it. And I just waited until he took that one extra step and — boom! — fucking hit him and just instinct kicked in.”
After footage of him grabbing a would-be thief’s pistol in the attempted armed robbery went viral, news outlets and social media accounts began hailing his efforts.
The 14-year-old suspect that Kilcer disarmed was caught, but two accomplices who entered the store with him are still at large.
“The suspect was booked into the county Juvenile Justice Center on charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault,” according to AP News.
Kilcer served in the Corps from July 2007 to August 2011, according to his military service record provided to Task & Purpose. While serving, Kilcer worked as a tactical air operations technician. He deployed to Afghanistan from March to October 2010.
He now works as a civilian employee at Army Yuma Proving Ground, AP News reported.
“It was definitely not what I was expecting, but you always have to be ready for that kind of stuff,” Kilcer told the Yuma Sun.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digital Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.