Surveillance footage captured inside the Next Up Barber & Beauty in Columbia, S.C., Jan. 22, 2016, shows the moment a barber’s client opened fire on a robber who attempted to stick up customers inside the shop.
WLTX screenshot

Two armed robbers picked the wrong barbershop in South Carolina to stick up Friday after a barber and a client, both of whom had concealed carry permits, opened fire on the men, killing one and sending the other back out the door. According to WLTX, the second suspect is still on the loose following the robbery attempt at Next Up Barber & Beauty in Columbia.

The barbershop was reportedly packed with customers, including children, when the two armed men stormed in demanding money.


"They forced all the customers and kids to put their hands up, and they were starting to go in everyone's pockets," barber Brandon Dreher told WLTX.

When the robbers got to head barber Elmurray Bookman and asked for his wallet, he told the men that it was in the chair across the room. When the gunman turned to collect the money, the client sitting in Bookman's chair pulled out his gun and opened fire on the man, hitting the suspect, who ran to the back of the barbershop. Bookman reportedly took out his own gun and also began firing on the suspect, who stopped when he reached a locked door.

"The man who got shot tried to go through the back door and it was jammed up," said Dreher. "He ended up getting shot again because the door was stuck.

"I was thinking we had to keep everybody safe," he told The State newspaper.

The suspect was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No customers or barbers were injured in the shooting.


Richland County, S.C., Coroner Gary Watts told the news station that the suspect who died in the shooting has not been identified because his family hasn't been notified of his death. Police officials have not released the identity of the suspect on the lam, but Bookman urged anyone with information about the robber's identity to contact the police. 

"If you know them, turn them in," he told WLTX. "Because if you don't, they're going to do somebody else like that, and this time it could be an innocent victim getting killed."

Read more at WLTX.