Clerk describes how brother took down armed robber


by & Ashley Korslien

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 7 at 4:41 PM

SPOKANE -- The brother of a convenience store owner suffered a minor hand injury when he tackled an armed robber to the ground during a hold-up.

The robber came into G & B Grocery near Crestline and Francis around 7:00 p.m. Monday.

A surveillance camera showed the robber, 25-year-old James Hopkins, wearing a ski mask and black clothes, entering the store.

Spokane Police said Hopkins, armed with a handgun, demanded the clerk empty the cash register.
As Owner Kulwant Singh put the money on the counter, Hopkins pointed the handgun at six people inside the store including three children; two 12-year-olds and a 13-year-old.

Police said he then fired off a round into the ceiling then attempted to run from the scene.

Before Hopkins could escape, a bystander came out of nowhere and wrestled him to the ground.

That bystander was Singh’s brother, a man he describes as “not a big guy, but his heart is big.”

Hopkins dropped the gun on the floor as the two struggled. Singh, his brother, and a customer held the robber down until police arrived.

“[The robber] said ‘Let me get up!’ I said ‘No, forget it. Until the cops come, you are going to be staying like that’,” Singh said.

Officers arrested Hopkins for 1st Degree Robbery and 6 counts of 1st Degree Assault.
Singh is happy to have justice, but he does not recommend anyone do what his brother did.

Spokane Police also warn against trying to stop a robbery in progress. Officers said witnesses should remember the suspect’s description and then call 911.

Honora Swanson contributed to this story