Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
Man refused to do nothing
A former Marine, Theodore Edmond served two tours in Vietnam and suffered only a scar on his chest from a barbed-wire fence.
It wasn’t until the 61-year-old Maryland man made a routine fuel stop in Caroline County two weeks ago that he received war-like wounds.
Edmond, nationally recognized as a good Samaritan, was shot four times when he struck a gunman in the head with a bottle of Yuengling beer during a robbery attempt at a Carmel Church gas station.
While he has been praised by the cashier whose life he possibly saved, he has been teased by his close friends and relatives.
“They told me if I had been a drinker, I would have known to grab a 40-ounce,” he laughed in an exclusive interview with The Free Lance-Star. “I told them the next time I need to hit someone with a beer bottle, I’ll call them first for a brand recommendation.”
But when he walked into the Mr. Fuel gas station on the night of May 8, it was no laughing matter.
He said he walked right past the gunman who was pointing what looked like a toy gun in the face of the frightened cashier.
“It looked like a plastic revolver you play cowboys and Indians with,” Edmond said.
He said he tried to find something heavy to use as a weapon, as the frustrated gunman raised his voice at the woman, who couldn’t get the register open. Then he heard two loud bangs from the gun. It was no toy.
He assumed the cashier was dead and, running out of time, grabbed the first thing he could get his hands on–a plastic bottle. Then he saw the Yuenglings.
Edmond said he was happy to see that the cashier was alive, as he crept up behind the man, whose voice was getting louder and louder. The first shots were intended as a warning, but he figured the next one would be fatal.
“There’s no way I’m going to stand around and watch him murder this lady,” Edmond said. “That’s what I couldn’t understand about the other people who were in there. I just know I could not look in the mirror if I had just stood there and did nothing while he shot that lady. I did what I had to do.”
Edmond swung with one arm and hit the would-be robber in the back of the head before the two struggled.
Edmond fell to the floor, and the gunman stood over him and shot him four times, striking him in the head, shoulder and both legs.
“I don’t know why I’m not dead,” he said. “I didn’t feel anything,”
He said he thought the gunman had missed until he tried to stand up and noticed that his left leg wasn’t working the way it was supposed to. And that’s when he realized that all of the blood on the floor was his.
When he did manage to stand, he saw the gunman down on his knees in the parking lot.
“There were all these people out there looking at him, and they let him just get away,” he said.
Edmond was later transported to Mary Washington Hospital. He was released the next day.
Edmond said he knew he was in good hands when he learned that the man taking care of him in the hospital’s trauma center was Michael DiSimone, a physician’s assistant who had served in combat overseas.
DiSimone told him there would be more damage done by removing the bullets, and he suggested they not be moved.
Edmond has been recovering at home, and said the ordeal has set him back about three weeks, and he has a slight limp.
“It just felt like I over-exercised,” he said.
Edmond said he stopped in Caroline after working on his aunt’s summer house in North Carolina. He was headed back to Maryland, he said, because his wife was preparing for a vacation and needed to get to the train station.
He stopped at Mr. Fuel, as he usually does about three or four times a week during hunting season, because “they have the best fuel price.”
He said he still hasn’t seen the surveillance video but would probably get around to watching it this week.
He hadn’t planned to talk publicly about the event until his 83-year-old mother and his aunt told him that they saw on TV that the cashier wanted to meet him and thank him for saving her life.
If he could relive that day, Edmond said, he wouldn’t do anything differently–except he would use a tire iron instead of a beer bottle.
“You can’t go through life being afraid,” he said. “I’m surprised nobody had a gun to quickly resolve the situation. Could have saved the county some money for a trial.”
Warren Harold Brown, 31, and Winston Sylvester Oliver II, 32, both of Richmond, were arrested last week in connection with the incident. They have been charged with attempted capital murder, aggravated malicious wounding, attempted robbery and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. They will appear in Caroline County Circuit Court on June 25.
When asked what he would say to the two men responsible for the bullets that are still in his body, Edmond said: “With that type of individual, a mammal I call them, it’s nothing you can say. They think they know everything, and you’ll be wasting your breath.”
“Throw them in jail and throw the key away,” he said.