Arizona Marine vet who disarmed robbery suspect accepts heroism award in 'let's go Brandon' T-shirt

Marine fights off gas station robbery attempt

Marine veteran James Kilcer took matters into his own hands when he witnessed a robbery attempt at an Arizona gas station.

The U.S. Marine Corps veteran seen on video stopping an attempted robbery at an Arizona convenience store has accepted an award from the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office for this “extraordinary heroism and exceptional courage” wearing a “let’s go Brandon” T-shirt. 

James Kilcer was presented with the Citizen’s Valor Award on Tuesday following the incident that happened on Oct. 20. 

Sheriff Leon Wilmot gave Kilcer the award – which his office describes as the “highest award for citizens whose actions warrant recognition” – for Kilcer’s “extraordinary heroism and exceptional courage while voluntarily coming to the aid of another citizen during an incident involving criminal activity at extreme, life threatening, personal risk in an attempt to save or protect human life.” 

Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot presents the Citizen’s Valor Award to James Kilcer on Tuesday.


What started as a profane, anti-Biden chant at college football games morphed into “let’s go Brandon” when an NBC reporter seemingly misheard the crowd’s chant while conducting an interview with Nascar driver Brandon Brown. The slogan immediately took off in social media among Trump supporters dissatisfied with the Biden administration. 

Kilcer was also wearing a red MAGA cap while accepting the award. 

Last week, Kilcer told “America’s Newsroom” he takes his personal safety, and the safety of others, “very seriously.” 

“I turn around to go and leave, kind of walk out and as I’m turning around I hear the door kind of open real aggressively,” Kilcer said about the incident. “At that point, the ‘spidey senses’ tingled a little bit.” 

Three unidentified people entered the store with one armed frontman leading the way. 

“I saw two other guys with no other weapons and decided that’s the guy that I’m going to hit,” Kilcer says.  

In one motion, Kelcer grabbed the gun and without hesitation hit the other suspects with a bag of his store purchases, which he said included two Gatorades, two energy drinks and “a snack.” 

“I was actually going to take control of his head and the gun at the same time, and the bag just happened to be heavy and attached to me and it smashed him right in the face,” Kelcer said.  

While the gas station clerk was “a little worked up” about the incident, according to Kelcer, he jumped over the counter to chase the suspects.  

The 8-second-long surveillance video shows the Marine Corps veteran grabbing the handgun and tackling the juvenile suspect. The other two suspects fled the scene.
(Yuma County Sheriff’s Office )


Kilcer credited his Marine Corps training’s muscle memory of knowing what to do in such incidents in addition to being “mentally prepared” when the attempted robbery occurred.  

The armed juvenile suspect was arrested and taken into the Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center on one count each of armed robbery and aggravated assault. 

Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report. 

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