- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Joshua Hamadi works nights, booting semi-trucks parked illegally on private property. It can take him to some dark, isolated areas, but nothing scary had happened to him in a year and a half on the job — until 3 a.m. Tuesday morning.

That’s when the 25-year-old Roswell resident became a survivor and a hero whose quick thinking and fast reactions during a robbery attempt may have saved his and another man’s life while helping police capture one of his three attackers.

According to Hamadi and a DeKalb police report, Hamadi was in his vehicle in the parking lot of the Bouldercrest Plaza shopping center on Bouldercrest Road. He was processing a truck he’d booted when a black Kia Spectra pulled up behind him and stopped.

“For five or ten seconds they didn’t do anything,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “… I thought that was odd. I had my gun in my holster waiting to go, and pulled it out just in case something happened.”

Something did happen. Two people in ski masks got out of the Kia, ran up to Hamadi and pointed guns at him from a foot away.

“My first reaction is, my life or theirs,” he said. “I pulled the gun and started shooting.”

Hamadi hit one of the attackers, a 15-year-old boy, in the hip. The other attacker and a third assailant drove off. Hamadi kept firing at the Kia while keeping the wounded teenager on the ground and telling the driver whose truck he’d booted to call 911. The injured teen was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he is in stable condition.

The other two assailants weren’t finished. Within minutes, they returned to the shopping center parking lot and Hamadi emptied his .40-caliber Glock, hitting a tire and causing them to finally leave.

Police located the Kia, which was stolen, about a mile away.

Hours after the incident, Hamadi explained how he kept his head.

“You can practice and train all you want, but it comes down to how you react in the situation,” he said. “I was very surprised by myself. I was able to keep very calm. My adrenalin kicked in but I was still very calm.”

Hamadi likely saved his own life and that of the trucker he was booting.

“He’s very grateful,” he said. “We both were able to get home to our families safely.”

Hamadi said he hopes the 15-year-old attacker he shot survives. However, he said he wouldn’t have acted any differently if the situation happened again.

“If it’s him or me,” Hamadi said, “I have to shoot in self-defense.”

DeKalb police spokesman Capt. Stephen Fore said that it does not appear that Hamadi will face any charges. He said the investigation is ongoing.

—Photographer Branden Camp contributed to this article.

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