Enough: Elderly Store Owner Takes Law Into Own Hands, Speaks Only To 19 Action News

Joseph Joplin
Joseph Joplin
Albert Yapell
Albert Yapell

NEW DETAILS: Cleveland, OH - An elderly man opens fire on a would-be robbery suspect Monday afternoon.

86-year-old Albert Yapell shot and killed the knife-wielding suspect as he was attempting to rob the Cleveland Aviary.

19 Action News has learned the suspect - 26-year-old Joseph Joplin - came into the store donning a mask and held a knife on the clerk while demanding money.

Police say that's when Yapell pulled out his gun and fatally wounded Joplin.

Yapell has owned the store for seven-years and has a license to carry his gun in the shop.

His daughter says this is not the first time someone has attempted to rob her father's shop.

Yapell said during an exclusive interview with 19 Action News Reporter Paul Orlousky that he's not sure if he did the right thing (by shooting Joplin) but he had to defend himself.

It appears Joplin staggered a few feet to the doorway of the store and fell dead on the ground after the shooting.

A friend of the victim says Joplin gave no indication that he was going to do anything except go downtown to see his parole officer.

Joplin's family tells 19 Action News they don't know why he would rob the pet store except that he needed money for a car.

Police are investigating whether the shooting was justified but say it doesn't look like the owner will face charges.