Store Owner Fights Robber

He's already battling cancer, but an Anderson County gas station owner recently found himself in another life-threatening battle while at work.

Police say Ronald Ray Hopkins walked into the Parkway Marathon, pulled out a gun on John Ellis, and demanded money.

But when Ellis says Hopkins threatened to shoot him, he fought back.

Since 1986, 59- year-old Ellis has owned the Marathon station in Anderson County. In all those years, he's never been a victim of a robbery, until Friday night, when Ellis says a man walked in with a ski mask and a shotgun. The masked man demanded money, and told Ellis he was going to kill him. Ellis, who is fighting colon cancer and undergoes weekly chemotherapy treatments, was forced outside and around back. Thats when he turned on the suspect, tackling him to the ground. Ellis managed to get his hands on the gun and fired it into the air, giving him a chance to run away. A short time later, police charged Ronald Ray Hopkins with the crime.

Hopkins is charged with robbery, kidnapping, tampering with physical evidence and alcohol intoxication.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by E Location: Lexington on Dec 14, 2007 at 03:16 PM
    Why was this Ronnie Ray out of jail in the first place. Is he the same guy that beat his wife and held her hostage back in late summer or early fall. Thats why we need tougher punishement. Way to stay strong against this looser Mr. Ellis, you are a true hero.
  • by tp Location: Corbin on Dec 14, 2007 at 06:00 AM
    good story .. the only thing I wished had happened is that shot in the air would have been a shot in HIS A--! I wish you health & happiness, Mr. Ellis .
  • by c Location: fkt on Dec 14, 2007 at 04:50 AM
    Hurray, for the owner! I hope they put this scumbag away for life! People work hard to what they have and those who want to take it away are just too lazy to work. They are afraid a little hard work is going to kill them! I'm only sorry you didn't kill the scumbag in the process and save us the money of trying his lazy a**! Now we'll all have to take care of this lazy, good for nothing! More store owners need to have loaded shotguns behind the counter to blow away these lazy a** people, perhaps all these robberies will stop once these scumbags know that they will be killed for trying to take what doesn't belong to them! The law CANNOT protect us anymore, so it's time we start protecting ourselves again like it was years ago! We need to start arming ourselves again and protecting what's ours because only the criminals have any "rights" these days and the victims are left without anything. In many cases the victims are killed, so why not start killing a few scum instead!
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Dec 13, 2007 at 08:08 PM
    Congrats Mr. Ellis -- we need more people to fight back like this. If fewer people cower to scum like this, we'd all be better off. I'm glad you didn't get hurt and I hope your cancer situation improves. Much love and prayers to ya!
  • by tj Location: rockcastle on Dec 13, 2007 at 07:54 PM
    way to go John.

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