Barber Shop Owner Shoots Armed Robber Who Threatened his Young Child

Published by the Author on November 17, 2008 at 12:00 am > Gun Related News > Barber Shop Owner Shoots Armed Robber Who Threatened his Young Child

As reported: a man who appeared to be a new customer walked in to Llord Baron Cross’s “Cross Cutz” barber shop, in Philadelphia.  The man, 19 year old Hakeem Birch, turned out to be an armed robber, who drew a gun and demanded money.  The owner put his hands up, and then gave the armed robber all of the money he had.  The robber wasn’t satisfied, and threatened to harm the owners 9 year old son, who was in a back room.  After leaving the barber shop for a moment, the robber returned before the owner could lock the door.  The owner was able to grab his lawfully owned handgun and fatally shoot the robber.  The barber shop owner was found to have acted in self defense, and will not face charges.

Here, we have just one of the 2.5 million cases each year where Americans have defended themselves with guns.  Had this law abiding citizen not had a gun, that criminal could have killed him, his young son, or any other people who got in his way.  Instead, a father is alive to continue raising his children, who are also alive and well.  Furthermore, since robbers tend to commit that crime many times over their lives, it is also likely that Hakeem Birch would have gone on to rob and harm other people – but for Mr. Cross putting a stop to this robber.

ALSO READ:  Armed Robbers Kills 2 Defenseless Chili's Employees for $875

This also shows once again that complying with a criminal’s demands doesn’t guarantee a victim’s safety.  Here, the barber shop ower handed over all the cash he had, but the criminal wasn’t satisfied.  This is similar to a home invasion last week, in which an unarmed victim cooperated with the home invaders, only to be shot because his belongings weren’t valueable enough to make the robbers happy.

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  • fatimah davis

    hello my name is fatimah davis and im hakeem’s birch sister and hakeem wasnt a naturally robber that was his first in last robbery case….i dont think he should of died…teenagers make mistakes but i dont think that should have happened like that……in that was my comment!!!!!!!!!

    • hicusdicus

      What do you mean he was not a natural robber. What was he doing his apprentice training. He was actually awful at being a armed robber as the circumstances has shown. From the comments I have read from the bitching family members he may have been the smartest one of the bunch. How does any one know if this was his first robbery, was their a score keeper. The only thing that disgusts me is the shame he and his family members have brought on the Afro American community.

  • Anders

    We all make mistakes, and when we do, we have to pay for it. My last mistake cost me $1000 and a lot of grief. As much as I feel sorry for the people that is left behind, I will say that Hakeem pay the price for his mistakes.

    The barber shop owner feared your brother would hurt his son. He did what any father would do.

  • Diante Pryer

    Remove this article immediately. For the sake of a broken family. My brother was not a criminal. And he will live on through his family, not by this. Do not use him to prove a point. You did not know him, so don’t judge him. He was my older brother, my everything.

    • The LearnAboutGuns.c

      While you have my sympathy for your loss, I am unwilling to remove a real-life example of armed self defense because a relative of the deceased criminal doesn't like the facts. My goal in writing about self defense examples is to prove the point that armed self defense works, and that law abiding citizens need not become defenseless victims of violent criminals. If I can help just one potential crime victim to see that point, and they are armed and able to defend themselves in the future, then the time and effort I've put into this cause will be quite worthwhile.

      I suggest you take a look at this article, which I wrote for people in your situation:

      • Diante Pryer

        Why are you unwilling? Are you that heartless, that you have to make a mockery of a young African American male who mad a mistake. His life is over, and you want to leave this post in his rememebrance? Do you understand what my brother meant to my family? And you decide to use him as an example just to prove a point on your “baseless” website. I dont not want you sympathy, because you obviously do not know what it means to sympathize. There are many other cases of self-defense, please do me a favor, and remove this article. Its hard for me to go on in life when things like posted in reference to my brother. Do you know what it is like to raise kids without their father, and then lose one when he was only 19. Remove this for my mom, she deserves it. Its the least you can do.

        • The LearnAboutGuns.c

          My position remains unchanged. No amount of asking, name calling, etc. will get me to remove this article.

          Also, I would note that armed robbery is not a "mistake" – it is a serious and violent crime.

          I again invite you to take a look at this article, which I wrote for people in your situation:

          Finally, as an African American myself, I'm curious why you believe Hakeem Birch's ethnicity is relevant enough to mention?

          • Diante Pryer

            I believe his ethnicity matters because the majority of african americans in America struggle. And you do not know what circumstances my brother may have been under, nor was you there at the time, so what make your accusation so valid? Who knows what could have happened between him and that barber. And you want to fire back at me like that? This is not an argrument, and since you think you have the authority to boast what happened with my brother on this website, I will take every legal action I can to remove this article, so I can help pass on the real legacy my brother.

            • The LearnAboutGuns.c

              As a law abiding African American, I find it sad that you are essentially arguing that African Americans are predisposed to criminality. Let me assure you that is not the case. I am an attorney who worked his way through law school and leads a law abiding life – as do my relatives who include doctors, lawyers, PhDs, etc. When you try and use the race card to justify or excuse criminality, you bring us all down.

              Also, as an attorney, I find your legal threats to be baseless. I've been down that road before, and not a single article has been removed:

      • Diante Pryer

        You find it sorry? You obviously do not anything about America. What I am arguing is a fact, and I'm not saying its a good thing. I don't care who you, you obviously do not know the struggles African Americans face in America. Your family jobs are irrelavant. You obviously find it amuses to add stress to families lives who did nothing to you. If you have to make a blog just for other people like me, then obviously your doing something wrong. Your doing an injustice to you people. Your part of a select few of blacks, who get to enjoy that lifestyle, therefore that makes you umsympathetic towards impoverished blacks. You need to read some of the prolific writer Langston Hughes poetry. Your some rich man, who basically is ignorant of his own race. You underestimate my intelligence. I do care how long it takes, this post will be removed.

        • The LearnAboutGuns.c

          I've decided that this discussion deserves its own article, given the way that race has played such an important role in American gun rights and self defense rights. That article, with my more in-depth response, will be published on Monday, May 17 2010.

          Update: My response can be seen here:

      • Diante Pryer

        So you want to publish this post again? Wow..Now you just want to cause more hurt on my life.

        • The LearnAboutGuns.c

          I certainly don't wish for you to suffer "more hurt" (not that I believe anyone other than Hakeem Birch is responsible for the self defense shooting and any direct or indirect "hurt.") If you believe yourself to be emotionally unable to read that upcoming article, or to continue the discussion, that is certainly your choice. Remember, you are the one who came to this website of your own volition, and you are the one who chooses to continue coming back and replying.

          However, I do wish to fully respond to the statements that you chose to post on my website. This is especially true given the important connection between race and guns, and your heavy reliance upon race to try and prove-up your statements. Just as I afforded you the privilege of having your comments posted on this website, I will also afford myself the right to post freely upon my own website.

      • Diante Pryer

        I come back here for a reason. Stop accusing my brother when you were not there. Keep opinions like that to yourself. And I keep coming back to try and get this post removed, but instead you want to make another one? I thought you were sympathetic? Why put more dirt on my brother's name. He lived 19 years, and this was one incident. He shouldn't be judged as a person, and I am asking you to stop making he seem like a horrible person. My brother would have not shot the barber, and who knows what really happened that day. I told my mom about this altercation, and she immediately bursts into tears, because you have audacity to say my brother deserved to die. What kind of heartless comment is that? He was a troubled youth, and he made a mistake. You continue to make judgements on what type of person he was. He was somebody I looked up too, he was very intelligent, and very athletic. He was the neighborhood star, and he was be rememeber in a different way.

        • The LearnAboutGuns.c

          I'm not going to respond to your latest comment, for the simple reason that the new article addressing your comments in greater detail is scheduled to be published in about 12 hours. Once that article is published, feel free to see my responses there and comment again, if you so choose.

          • The LearnAboutGuns.c

            Update: My response can be seen here:

            • Gary Smith

              I, too, am African-American. I am by no means rich. I work in corrections and have worked in public safety (police, corrections, etc) since 1986. I have encountered a great many criminals, many young Black males. Their reasons varied, but they all still committed a violent act against another person. That the barber in this case was determined to be justified in this matter shows that the most important facts have been determined. 1) Hakeem Birch did commit armed robbery. 2) He did threaten the victim's young son when the amount of cash he got was less than what he believed he was going to get. 3) He departed the barbershop, but then came right back in. 4) had Hakeem Birch kept going he would not have been shot. 5) The victim reasonably feared for not only his life, but that of his son (and we all know that when someone threatens our kids all bets are off).

              What we don't know (and will never know) is why Hakeem Birch did it. We also do not know if he would have shot the victim. His relatives say he would not, but he did have a gun and did threaten violence. You don't have to be a cop or corrections officer to know that when someone displays a deadly weapon and / or makes a verbal threat to use it, there is no telling the outcome because only the perpetrator knows for sure if he or she is going to use that weapon. I, for one, would rather not wait until the bullet enters my gut or the knife my heart or the hammer my head to find out the answer. I used to believe that old advice from cops that if you don't resist nothing will happen to you. Then I became a cop and a corrections officer. I came into regular contact with rapists, child molesters and various criminals who hurt or killed their victims, including many who will spend the rest of their lives in prison and several who went to death row.

              Criminals, by nature, are quick to blame others for their actions, however, only about 5% of criminals who hurt their victims actually blamed their violence on victim resistance. And since there are a Hell of a lot of violent criminals in jail or prison and on the streets I believe that to let the bad guy decide whether or not to visit violence upon a victim is absolutely ludicrous. The victim in this case gave up his money and still got threatened and so did his little kid, a low act if there ever was any. Who would not believe, in a similar situation, that the returning criminal, who moments earlier threatened the victims with violence for not having enough money, that death was coming upon them. Just this past weekend "America's Most Wanted" profiled a story about 5 women who were shot execution style during a robbery. None resisted and all died. And I vividly remember the Austin yogurt shop murders where several kids were executed also during a robbery. I am sorry Hakeem Birch only lived to be 19, but I don't think that because this robbery was his first it should somehow be counted as a freebie. Relatives say he was intelligent and athletic, a neighborhood star. Using those talents would have gotten him farther in life than crime. Ironically many of the country's most talented artists, singers, athletes, lawyers and philosophers are either on death row or serving long sentences. Had they taken their talent on the right road maybe their lives would have been different. People who looked up to Hakeem Birch should remember his memory by avoiding the mistake he made. Say what you will about America and crime, however, it is a a fact that violent criminals are far more likely to be shot and / or killed by police or their would be victims than in any other place on Earth. There is an adage in corrections: "there are old criminals and there are bold criminals, but there are no old, bold criminals".

  • BasinBictory

    I agree with Anders. While the taking of life is never to be taken lightly, when you wilfully endanger the safety and lives of others, even if it's a "mistake," – then do not be surprised when people are willing to defend to the death the lives and safety of those who love. I'm a father of two young boys and wouldn't feel too much sympathy for anyone who threatened them.

    On the flip side, if one day one of my sons commits the kind of crime that Hakeem Birch committed, and paid for it with his life, I would undoubtedly mourn, but would also understand the perspective of a father defending his brood.

  • Diante Pryer

    I am only 17. I am not perfect. I'm glad that some people can atleast relate to me. I am not here to get cricitzed, and have my comments dissected. I am only here to convince this author to remove my brother's post. But now I understand his stubborness will not be stirred. So I will try my best to make sure my brother was remember for the person he really was.

    • Hicus Dicus

      Remembered for what he was, and what was that? Lets see! A criminal an armed robber a drunk and in general a useless piece of humanity that needed stopping before he seriously harmed an innocent person.