It was a scary night for a college student who was being robbed at gunpoint, until his quick-thinking roommate helped turn the tables. While the pair waited for police to arrive, they held the bad guy down with guns, and a samurai sword.
Tyler Michaels, 19, of Wenlon Drive in Murfreesboro stepped outside his apartment to smoke a cigarette around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night when he was approached by a strange man.
"He came up to me and had a blunt (marijuana cigarette), and wanted to light it up with my lighter," Michaels said. "He asked me where he could buy some weed, and I said 'I don't know.'"
Michaels said he got an uneasy feeling and tried to make his way back inside when the man, identified as Dedrick Gaines, 19, of Fox Croft Drive in Murfreesboro told him to empty his pockets.
"I said 'Hold on, I'll go get it from my apartment,' and he said, 'Don't play me, I'll kill you,'" Michaels said.
Gaines forced his way inside the apartment. Michaels went to his bedroom and gave Gaines $20, but he still wasn't satisfied.
"I took the money and handed it to him, and he said, 'I'm not leaving with that,'" Michaels said.
Michaels said he was looking for anything in his bedroom to hit the suspect with.
"Right when I saw his hands (move away from the gun) I just reacted," Michaels said. "I grabbed him and slammed him against the wall, and then slung him to the floor."
The MTSU student said the two began to fight in the off-campus apartment. His room is still a mess.
"He was hitting me and everything," Michaels said. "I'm not going to lie; I took a beating in order to get that gun."
At first, two of his roommates, who were in another bedroom, thought he was being his usual self and joking around. They quickly realized he was in trouble.
"I said 'He's got a gun!'" Michaels said. "Andrew (Perez) saw that he had hit me in the eye, and I was bleeding and he knew it was for real," Michaels said.
Perez hit the robber over the head with the wooden sheath from a samurai sword and broke it.
"I then picked up a sword," Perez said. "It's pretty intimidating. I would be scared of it, and that's when he (Gaines) calmed down."
Another roommate dialed 911 while Michaels held his gun and the suspect's gun on him.
"At this point he's saying, 'Don't shoot me; don't shoot me,'" Michaels said.
Perez stood close by with the sword.
"And he was saying, 'Don't stab me; don't stab me,'" Michaels said.
At one point during the confrontation the suspect managed to get away. He attempted to run out of the bedroom when Perez tripped him. By that time Murfreesboro police were coming through the front door.
Police said they don't recommend victims fighting back.
"The gun was stolen out of Memphis. It was obviously that he (Gaines) had no regard for human life, and it could have ended very differently for these college students," said Sgt. Kyle Evans, Murfreesboro police spokesman.
Michaels suffered two black eyes, and had to get a few stitches over his left eyebrow. He was released from the hospital early this morning.
Gaines is facing a list of charges including aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and aggravated assault, simple assault, possession of stolen property, and possession of a weapon in the commission of a felony crime.
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