Photo provided/ Manatee Count Sheriff's Office
La'Tay McKelley, pictured above, has been charged with attempted murder and armed robbery of Cortez Coins in Ellenton, Florida.
La'Tay, according to surveillance photos and the shop owner, attempted to rob the store and shoot the owner. He pulled the trigger at least three times. When the pistol failed to fire, he pistol whipped the owner before the owner shot La'Tay.
Fortunately, La'Tay has either not had instruction in proper pistolcraft or did not pay attention when instructed.
The pistol, easily identified because of the distinctive ventilated rib and sights, is either a Phoenix Arms HP22 or HP25. The HP22 is the more common model. A peculiarity of this model is that it has a plethora of safeties, including two manual safeties. Almost certainly La'Tay forgot to disengage one of the safeties, something that I have often seen students do during training exercises.
Another possibility is that La'Tay simply forgot to load the pistol, or to rack a round into the chamber from the magazine. This model also has a magazine disconnect safety, so if the magazine was not fully seated, that would cause a failure to fire. The pistol has a reputation for accuracy and reliability, if you remember to disengage all the safeties.
The most common fault that I have observed is for the shooter to forget to disengage one of the manual safeties, which seems likely in this case.
The intended victim did not give La'Tay time to do more damage or to troubleshoot the failure to fire. The shop owner accessed his own pistol and fired on La'Tay, wounding him.
A hit seldom results in instant incapacitation.
La'Tay fled the scene, but was arrested the next day, based on the surveillance tapes and the gunshot wound.
The owner's head laceration was treated at the scene.
©2013 by Dean Weingarten Permission to share granted as long as this notice is included.