MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Owners of Owens Market, PJ and Travis Owens-Whitehead, have always made a point to treat their customers like friends and family. On Friday night, that paid off when a suspicious man was circling their store—and one of their neighbors worked to protect the business by holding the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived.
The Owens-Whiteheads were at the fair Friday night when they received a call from a longtime customer who told them there was a man wearing a backpack walking around outside their store on Short Mountain Rd.
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The two owners called police, and then called their next-door neighbor to check out what was going on.
Security video shows the neighbor arriving at the business with a gun and drawing his weapon as he approached the man. Owens-Whitehead said he held the man at gunpoint on their porch until Warren County Sheriff’s deputies arrived.
Meanwhile, the two owners were driving back to their business.
“At that point, we wound up accelerating a little faster down the road,” Travis Owens-Whitehead said.
When deputies arrived, they couldn’t find any signs of forced entry or damage to the business, so they drove the man to White County where he said he was headed, and let him go.
“I’m not saying the gentleman’s intentions were to do anything wrong, but if it was, [the neighbor’s actions] avoided that situation,” Owens-Whitehead said.
The owners of Owens Market told News 2, people in McMinnville are known to look out for their neighbors because it’s a tight-knit community. They’re grateful for their two neighbors who kept a watchful eye on the business they’ve operated since 2006.
“When you treat [customers] as your friend, as your family, when you have a situation like we had Friday night, because you’ve always been there for them and always helped them, they’re going to have your back too, and that’s a good thing,” Owens-Whitehead said.
The owners added they’re grateful for the Warren County Sheriff’s Office’s quick response.