Jennifer Wertz didn’t feel safe going to work at the Circle K gas station in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
There’s been an uptick in robberies in the area, Wertz said, including one at a nearby 7-11 on Monday afternoon, according to KRQE News 13.
Wertz said she was at the gas station when she heard about the 7-11 robbery, and went into her car to bring her gun inside.
“I had a customer from 7-Eleven on Wyoming and Candelaria come in and say they were just held up, so I got very nervous,” Wertz said.
"Robberies have been going on like this for the past few weeks,” she told KOAT/CNN. “They have done nothing to protect me. And I felt the need to protect myself.”
Wertz visibly displayed the gun on her hip — and that decision paid off, she said, when an armed would-be robber came into the gas station shortly after she retrieved the weapon.
“He was screaming, he points the gun in my face,” Wertz said, “and I just point, cock and shoot, and protect myself.”
But there’s just one problem: the gas station suspended Wertz for two weeks because she shot the robber.
It was a violation of company policy, Wertz said, so she quit her job and is looking for employment elsewhere.
“We are not to chase, we are not to provoke, we are not to do anything,” she told KOAT. “We just stand there and give them what they want and they leave.”
Circle K declined to a request for comment from both KRQE and KOAT, according to the two outlets.
The suspected would-be robber, 23-year-old Ferron Mendez, allegedly entered the Circle K gas station at 4 p.m. Monday.
After being shot by Wertz, Mendez allegedly ran out of the gas station and collapsed in the parking lot, police said. He survived, but was taken to the hospital with critical injuries.
Despite being out of a job for the time being, Wertz said she has no regrets.
“I unfortunately would do it again, if need be, come the subject or the situation, I would do it again,” she said. “I'm sick and tired of being a sitting duck.”