FAIRFIELD, AL (WBRC) - Authorities believe a 19-year-old arrested in connection to three restaurant robberies may have hurt others if it weren't for an armed citizen.
Roderick Derrell King, 19, is charged with robbery and capital murder in connection to armed robberies at a Burger King, Papa Murphy's and a Jack's Wednesday night. Police say a customer at the Jack's was killed during that particular robbery.
Police say it all started Wednesday night at the Burger King in Fairfield off of Lloyd Nolan Parkway.
Authorities say around 7:30 p.m., King came in and threatened everyone in the Burger King. Police say an armed customer fired a weapon at King, who then fired back. Fairfield Police Chief Leon Davis said King's gun jammed and he fled the scene. No one was injured.
Authorities claim King then attempted to rob Papa Murphy's Pizza in Hueytown but again, no one was injured here.
But later in Pleasant Grove at the Jack's, police say a customer was killed during the robbery.
Chief Davis said without that unknown citizen's help at Burger King, people could have died in Fairfield.
"Judging from what occurred he left the city of Fairfield we really believe there could have been a mass tragedy had this customer not been in the store and right now we consider this unknown person a hero," Davis said.
Davis said he wants to find the person to thank them and to help build their case against King. While Davis said in most situations, citizens should not fight with criminals. But if they know how to use a weapon and feel threatened, Davis said he feels citizens should protect themselves.