By Marissa Perlman

MODESTO (CBS13) – Two good Samaritans tackled a man with a pellet gun, stopping him in the middle of a robbery spree through a Modesto shopping center.

It happened Monday night just before 10 p.m. at four different businesses off of Sylvan Avenue on the outskirts of Modesto.

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The suspected robber, Justyn Wesson, 18, from Modesto, tried to make off with hundreds of dollars.

Wesson had robbed The Village Wine & Market, Taqueria Carolina and the AM/PM Arco gas station of an undisclosed amount of money prior to entering the Tap Room.

Derek Hudson was sitting at the bar at The Tap Room, waiting on what he calls “Modesto’s best burger.” That’s when he saw a man, outside, acting strange.

“I see him out the window, and as he’s walking in I’m kind of getting ready,” said Hudson.

He made eye contact with Wesson, as he entered the restaurant.

“He came from the door to here in a matter of four or five seconds. He was muffled, he had a sweatshirt wrapped around his face,” said Hudson.

He couldn’t hear him, but he saw what looked like a pistol in his hand.

“He fired it into the ceiling, and you could hear the ‘pop, pop,'” said Hudson.

Wesson then pointed the gun straight at Hudson.

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“He was still trying to pull the trigger,” said Hudson.

Hudson, a retired Army Lieutenant, knocked the gun away and Wesson to the ground.

“It was just a wrestling match from there. We got up against the wall, the guy sitting at that table over there by that point tackled him as he was getting right next to the door,” said Hudson.

That “guy” was John Walker, a Modesto Fire Captain.

“I knew I had to do something, and getting him to the ground and holding him to the ground until the Modesto Police Department could arrive,” said Walker.

Other people at the bar also jumped in to help. Walker says there was no doubt he would step in.

“I think it’s just that natural instinct that I have within me. Being in the fire service, you take an oath to your community. It’s your due diligence to do that on or off duty,” said Walker.

Both men said they would do it all again, and the bar owner says he’s forever grateful for their quick action. Modesto Police say these two men were at the right place at the right time.

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The suspect, Justyn Wesson, was booked into the Stanislaus County jail facing charges for robbery and attempted robbery.

Marissa Perlman