Pair of Midlands men capture armed robber, deputies say

Pair of Midlands men capture armed robber, deputies say

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Two Midlands men tackled an armed robber outside of a sporting goods store on Monday as they waited for deputies to arrive on the scene.

The incident happened at The Academy Sports and Outdoors at the Sandhills location on Monday around 1:30 p.m. Deputies say the suspect, 23-year-old Marcus Culbertson, stole four handguns worth more than two thousand dollars. Investigators say Culbertson confessed to entering the sporting goods store with the intent to find items of the highest value to steal them and then sell or trade the items.

The incident report states two men, Son Tran and Nhan Truong, tackled Culbertson and held him until deputies arrived and detained him.

“I was impressed by what they did,” Britt Truluck, an investigator with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said.

“Without them, we don’t even know if we would have ever caught him. We are grateful for them going out and we don’t have any firearms that are now illegally owned out on the street, however, we never encourage anybody does what they did. We do encourage that you’re a good witness and we’re grateful that they did what they did.”

The two brothers who took down the suspect are 19 and 27 years old. The brothers say neither of them had prior experience in taking someone down. They were at the Academy Sports and Outdoors store to grab ammo ahead of a brothers’ day at the shooting range.

That was until they heard someone bash the glass to the gun display area with a trailer hitch.

“We heard a loud shattered glass,” Son Tran said. “There was a man just stuffing guns down his backpack, so I started chasing after the suspect and at that point that’s when he stopped and turned around.”

The brothers said they chased Culbertson outside.

“He actually turned around and with his hands full of guns and whacked me in the face on my left jaw. That’s when I grabbed him by his arm and took him down,” Tran said.

“He smacked my brother in the face and, at that time, I got to protect my family member and my brother so we both tackled him down,” Nhan Truong said.

Neither brother was willing to give up knowing they were counting on each other to restrain the suspect until law enforcement arrived on the scene.

“When they explained the relationship and why they both took action, it was a matter of each of them wanting to go out there and protect the other. Neither of them was willing to give up knowing that they were counting on each other to restrain this guy until law enforcement arrived on scene,” Truluck said.

At the end of the day, the brothers forgive.

“One look in his eyes, he’s not a bad person. I know of the fact that I can feel he is not a bad person. I think he’s just making really bad choices at that moment and he said ‘Please let me go, man. I’m sorry, dude.’ I said, ‘No hard feelings, man. I feel you, I forgive you, but I can’t let you go,” Truong said.

The incident report states Culbertson had a black book bag, four handguns, and a Reese hitch in his possession. The value of the items taken from the store $2,535.79.

Investigators are waiting for surveillance video.

Copyright 2019 WIS. All rights reserved.