STONE MOUNTAIN, GA -- Every once in a while a hero steps into someone's life. One stepped into Heather Kloer's life on January 6th. It happened in the parking lot of an Office Depot on Memorial Drive in Stone Mountain. Kloer was walking to her car when she was approached by a man with a knife.
She is alive to talk about it because of a knight in shining armor that came to her aid. "He is my hero," Kloer said. "Talk about a perfect, living definition of a hero."
She is talking about Rob Strickland of Stone Mountain. Strickland owns Strickland Security & Safety Solutions, a security and safety company. He is trained and licensed to carry a gun.
Kloer said a young man approached her and asked her if he could use her phone. She said she knew right away something was wrong. "He said look here, I've got a knife and I'm going to kill you," she said. But Kloer didn't believe him. "I looked at him and said, you do not have a knife, get away from me, get away from me right now."
Kloer said the suspect pushed her into her car and tried to get in. She made the decision that if the suspect got in her car she would never survive. "So I started kicking at his face and his head as hard as I could," she said. "And I started screaming and he got really mad at that and he reached in and he socked me in the face."
Someone heard her screams. "Her screams brought a sense to me that I needed to do something," said Strickland. He was pulling into the parking lot when he saw the suspect force Kloer into her car.
Strickland rushed to her aid with his gun. "And I had the gun in a holding position yelling at him to get out of the car and stop," he said. Strickland said he was able to get the suspect on the ground and hold him until DeKalb County Police arrived. Alex Taylor, age 20, of Tallahassee, Florida was charged with armed robbery and aggravated assault.
Strickland said it was all a blur at first. "But when I saw her face and she came over, we hugged and we cried for a few minutes together, and she was just so thankful," he said.
Kloer said the timing of Strickland's arrival was too coincidental. "He is an angel, a guardian angel," she said.
Strickland said he had no choice but to react the way he did. "That could have been my wife," he said. "It could have been my daughter, my mother, and when I saw Heather, I saw every face related to me."
"He lived it, he walked the talk, and I will be forever grateful, Kloer said. "Every day of my life I will pray for him and his family."
Strickland said the lesson people should learn from what happened is that we all need to get involved. Those are words from the mouth of a hero.
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In : Robberies
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