INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- Coty Pennell said he wouldn't want anyone to have to make the choice he had to make Thursday night outside a McDonald's on the east side of Indianapolis.
He says he's never needed to use his gun before but he bought it just in case his life or his family members' lives were ever in danger.
He said that's what happened to him on Thursday night. He was supposed to pick up McDonald's for his family.
While he waited in the drive-thru to order, he said he looked down to get a cigarette.
"When I look up I had this individual right there with a pistol in my face," he said.
Pennell was alone in the car. He said the robber demanded his wallet. "I said hey man don't shoot me."
The robber told Pennell to get out of his car. Little did this armed man know, Pennell had a gun, too.
"He started to drive off, that's when I fired a couple shots," said Pennell.
Pennell had never pulled the trigger before.
"I didn't want him to take my life, and I didn't want to take his life," he said.
The robber continued driving, already shot in the arm. Pennell said he held onto his car. He said he got the robber out, which led to a fight. Pennell was able to tackle the man to the ground. IMPD arrested him soon after.
"He looked like an average guy like me and you," said Pennell, who added he was still in a daze about the events.
To him, it made no sense.
"Why would you? I worked for this. Why would you try to take mine?" he recalled asking the robber.
That's when he said the man started pleading.
"I feel sorry for the guy," he said on Friday. "This is a human being man. Even though he tried to take from me this is still a human being."
Pennell wishes this man just asked for help.
"Can you buy me a Happy Meal? Can you buy me something? I would have much rather have done that," said Pennell, who said he would have bought him a meal from the get go.
Now he hopes this robber will learn from whatever punishment he gets. In a police report, IMPD identified the suspect as a 44-year-old black man. Beyond that, there is no information about him.