Beach pizza store manager describes life-and-death struggle with robber

Posted at 10:25 PM, Mar 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-19 09:16:35-04

A Virginia Beach pizza-store manager still has a bullet inside him from a life-and-death fight with a robber.

For the first time since the shooting, he reveals what happened that night exclusively to investigator Mike Mather.

Wounded by a robber's bullet and losing blood, Patrick Jenkins couldn't believe what was happening. Behind him, his delivery driver had been shot in the head. And somewhere in the restaurant was the girl he wanted to marry. He didn't know where.

All he knew was the man two feet away was trying to kill him.

“He`s silent. Stone-faced. Scary almost. Not a hint of emotion the entire time,” says Jenkins.

To understand how Patrick's life changed in an instant, you have to go back just a few minutes to closing time at the Chanello`s Pizza on Aragona Boulevard. It was December. Just weeks before Christmas.

“He was actually quite charismatic and personable, whenever he walked in. Very friendly almost,” says Jenkins.

The man was wearing a hunter-style hat with ear flaps, and sunglasses, at 2 a.m.

“He told me he had placed an order an hour and a half previous that he had never received. And while I was looking it up, he just walked around the counter, lifted up a gun and started shooting,” says Jenkins.  “[The bullet] hit David, my driver, who was immediately behind me and to my right. And then [he] turned the gun on me. It was like time froze for a second. All I could think of was David has been shot, my girlfriend is in the store and this guy is here to hurt people.

Then the robber's pistol was pointed at Patrick.

“He got the gun pointed to actually about my chest, and I managed to react quickly enough to grab it and push it down and to the side. And it went off and hit me in the hip. Then I started wrestling with him, thinking the entire time that Sarah is still in the store and that my driver is on the ground dying behind me,” says Jenkins.

Although smaller than the robber, Patrick threw the gunman to the ground and got both hands on the pistol.

“It was almost like a scene from a movie. We both have hands on the gun. It`s up between our faces. It`s down pointing between our legs and it is going off a couple of times. It should have been terrifying, but I was too adrenaline-filled to be scared at the time.

For a while, Patrick had the upper hand. But Patrick was bleeding and he could feel himself getting weaker. Then he noticed the robber had a second gun, tucked into the back of his pants. That's when Patrick gambled on a decision that might save his life, or might cost him his life. He decided to surrender.

“I knew I just had to give up and put all of my money so to speak on being as cooperative and helpful as possible. So I told him, I said, `Look, man, I am done. I don`t want to do this anymore. Just take the money and go. Don`t hurt anybody.'  And he said them, `Well, let me go,’” says Jenkins.

“I take a deep breath. Count to three, and let him go and stand up. And I back away. He stands up, he`s still pointing the gun at me. [He] doesn`t shoot again. I just start taking money out and putting it on the counter. You know, 'Hey this is everything.' I even take out my wallet and give him the seven dollars I had in that.

The robber snatched the cash and calmly walked away. David the driver was lucky. The bullet glanced off his skull and smashed into a wall. The bullet that hit Patrick is still in his hip, in two pieces. And the fight with Patrick apparently didn't deter the robber.

“I found out he was involved in another case, and I believe it was a murder, actually, a couple of days after the robbery,” says Jenkins.

Police say 35-year-old Ryan Brown is the robber who shot Patrick, and the gunman who took a life days later. News of the arrest came to Patrick just before Christmas.

“The closest thing I have gotten to a good night`s sleep was that night,” says Jenkins.

But for Patrick, it's still not over. He says he constantly startles awake with sounds in the night. He missed a month of work and fell into debt. When he was able, he went back to his same job.

“My bank account wouldn`t allow me to do otherwise. Bills don`t stop coming in. I missed almost a month of work. I am behind on almost two months of rent,” says Jenkins.

He says he is ready to testify in court, to tell this story to a jury. He can still feel a lump of lead just below his beltline. It hurts sometimes, but to him it's proof he fought back, and survived.