WOOD VILLAGE, Ore. – A woman working a slow night at Dotty’s restaurant in Wood Village Monday suddenly found herself in a life-or-death situation when a man came in and pointed a loaded, sawed-off shotgun at her.
“The whole time that he’s walking toward me with that shotgun I thought that I was dead,” Laurina Powell said.
She had been restocking the coolers just after midnight, with only four customers inside, when she turned around to see the masked man coming toward her.
“I said, ‘OK, I’ll give you all the money you want. I’ll even open up the till, just please don’t point the gun at me,” she told KGW. “And I had my hand on it, pushing it away, and he said, ‘Don’t touch my gun. I want the safe.’”
She told the robber it was a time-release safe and that he’d have to wait for it open. She said he was growing more impatient by the second.
“It felt like forever, but it was probably only two minutes,” she said.
Then she realized he had been drinking. She said she smelled the alcohol coming through his mask. At that moment, she decided to go for his gun.
“He kind of pointed it down and I reached over and grabbed it with one hand and then the other,” she said. “I hit it with my elbow and grabbed it, and then I screamed for help.”
The suspect, 57-year-old Gordon Peterson, ran away. But Powell ran after him, gun in hand. Then the customers joined in the chase and tackled him until police arrived.
Peterson was arrested and Powell was just thankful he was caught, because it might keep him from threatening someone else’s life.
“I have two kids and it could have turned out way differently,” she said. “He would have gotten barely anything. And is it worth my life? No.”
Background: Witnesses tackle armed robber in Wood Village