A robber in Wesley Chapel was stopped in his tracks Thursday morning by a good Samaritan.

  • Deputies say Chris Lilly intended to rob a convenience store
  • His plan was stopped by a quick acting good Samaritan
  • Lilly was shot during a tussle and sustained non-life threatening injuries

At 6:40 Thursday morning, a good Samaritan was on his regular coffee run -- one he’s done nearly every day for the past 15 years -- when investigators said he came face-to-face with Christopher Lilly pointing a gun at him and the clerk at a Marathon gas station off Wesley Chapel Blvd.

“He comes in with a mask, his gun is out, it is pointed at both individuals," explained Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco. "He then turns to the clerk and says 'open the drawer and both of you get back in the cooler.'"

The two listened and went inside the cooler.

“While they’re in the cooler, they’re in fear for their lives,” said Nocco. “They tell us they were afraid that there may have been more accomplices, they’re afraid he’s going to come back there and shoot them."

So they came up with plan.

Investigators say the good Samaritan (whose name has yet to be released) was legally armed. That individual stepped out of the cooler and shot at Lilly -- but missed.

A tussle ensued.

“While they’re wrestling the suspect tries to grab the gun," said Nocco. "While he’s doing that the citizen fires a round purposely into the hip of the individual and shoots him. At that time our deputies are arriving on scene and they take him into custody."

In Thursday morning's press conference the sheriff applauded their efforts.

“If you’re in a life-and-death situation," started Nocco, "and you’re in fear for your life you absolutely have your God given right to, in Pasco County, to defend yourself.”

Investigators say Lilly has at least 11 previous arrests, including some theft and burglary charges. He has no felony convictions.

Lilly was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.