BREMERTON — As soon as the masked bandit walked into Rob’s Quick Stop about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, Kim and Jim Fee knew what was going to happen next.
“I could see this coming,” Jim said. So did Kim, who in the 10 years the couple has owned the store has been robbed at gunpoint once, three or four years ago, for a couple of packs of Newport 100s.
As the robber rounded the counter, heading for the cash register, Kim hit the ground.
“He really looked scary,” Kim said. “I could only see his eyes.”
Apparently, the robber only saw Kim and not Jim, who almost immediately had his .380 semi-automatic aimed at the man’s forehead.
The standoff lasted 10-15 seconds, Jim said. The robber, surprised to find a pistol aimed at him, kept shifting his gun back and forth, from Kim to Jim, then back to Kim.
Jim, 68, white haired and bespectacled, guessed the robber was in his late teens or early 20s, but it was hard to tell because of the black bandanna covering his face.
“It’s the only thing he did right,” Jim said of the disguise.
He was short. A statement from the Bremerton Police Department describes the robber as 5 feet 4 inches.
The man made no demand … at least none that was understood. Jim said he mumbled something.
“He didn’t have a chance,” Jim said. “I had a gun on him too quick.”
Although the gun Jim was facing appeared to be real — not an airsoft, not a replica — the robber didn’t appear to know what to do with it.
“He handled the gun like he didn’t know how to handle a gun,” Jim said.
Speaking of guns, Jim had drawn the .380 (a “pea shooter”) from his hip, and he had at hand twin .357s, named General Lee and General Jackson. He’s a military history buff, but he is versed in the history of the Old West as well. His uncle had been befriended by the legendary Wyatt Earp, who had passed on some words of wisdom.
“Take your time in a hell of a hurry,” Jim said about his calm demeanor during the standoff. “Basically, I followed that advice.”
It’s a “rough neighborhood,” Jim said, where neighbors know the Fees and the Fees know the neighbors.
They look ter each other. Jim won’t tolerate his customers being bothered — hence “no panhandling” painted on the side of the building.
“All we want to do is mind our business, run a store and not be hassled,” he said.
Nothing was gained by the robber, who ran off.
Police believe he might have gotten into a green Toyota with a blond female driver. The suspect was described as possibly Hispanic or black, and was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark baggy jeans and black shoes.
Afterward, Jim said he wasn’t jumpy or anxious. That might be due to the beta-blockers he takes for heart trouble, but he can’t say the experience left him traumatized.
“I had a snack, watched a little TV and went to bed,” he said. “That’s me.”
Those with information about the suspect can call Bremerton police at 360-473-5228. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.