An employee of Don’s Guns spent Thanksgiving surrounded by friends and family inside his home, just two months after a customer tried to kill him at a west side gun store.
“He shot at me three times, hit me once at four feet away,” said Ben Chance. “His other two bullets barely missed my head.”
Chance was at work at Don’s Guns at 3802 North Lafayette Road on September 17, when Brian Wayner emerged from the gun range with a rented weapon and stepped up to the counter to pay his bill.
“When I went to grab the gun, he yanked it back,” said Chance, “and stepped back, so I switched arms and started to reach with my left arm and he stepped back and as soon as he pointed the gun at me I had to draw mine and when he did I shot and I had no choice but to return fire.”
The video from store surveillance cameras show Wayner backing up, aiming and firing a split second before Chance fires at virtually point blank range. Wayner staggers backwards, mortally wounded twice. Chance runs to the front of the store to protect his boss Brenda Duety.
“I just go over and grab Brenda and we fell down to the ground,” said Chance.
“I grab my gun,” said Duety after she watched the surveillance video. “Ben drops to the ground and comes up to me, grabs me. I grab my gun. I go up. If the guy would have been moving or raised up, I would have shot him.”
Wayner was dead and Chance was bleeding to death from a chest wound.
“I go over and hold my hand on Ben’s chest, telling his he’s going to be okay,” said Duety. “Ben’s saying it hurts.”
Duety saved Chance’s life. Chance spent 19 days in intensive care, but he was home in time to celebrate Thanksgiving and prepare for his first day back at work Friday morning.
“Everybody’s really thankful I’m still here,” said Chance. “I thank God every morning that he gives me that chance to wake up.”
Chance said he’s glad to be back at work even though he’s been told to expect that many customers will treat him as a hero for protecting himself and co-workers from a gunman.
“I don’t consider myself a hero,” said Chance. “I just consider myself a guy who was in survival mode. If you shoot me, I’m going to shoot back.”