James R. Minshall Sr., the owner of JR’s Jewelry & Gifts in Omaha, Neb., died Sept. 17 after being shot in what local press accounts describe as a botched robbery. He was 71.
An employee said to be in the store during the incident told WOWT-TV: [The robber] broke out a gun. He had a bag and threw it on the floor and said to put all the jewelry in the bag. [Minshall] walks over to the counter, where he’s going to give him the jewelry. Told him to get back. He told him to get the bag. The boss walked to the back, three shots rang out, and he walked out.”
The robber is said to have escaped without any jewelry. Police are on the lookout for a gray Cadillac, according to reports. Those with information are urged to call CrimeStoppers at 402-444-STOP.
The Jewelers’ Security Alliance cautions that during an armed robbery, employees should obey any orders and try not to panic; not make any kind of movement, particularly abrupt movements, unless ordered to do so by the robber; not attempt to disarm him or reach for a weapon; not say or do anything that would anger the robber; and not press a holdup alarm. Further tips on handling and preventing robberies can be seen on the bottom of the JSA website and in this article.
Minshall is the second jeweler to be killed this year. On May 5, Muhammad H. Baig, 29, an employee of Victoria Jewelers in Richmond, Va., was killed during a robbery at his store.
In the wake of the incident, local residents filled JR Jewelry’s Facebook page with condolences. A neighboring store owner told the Omaha World-Herald: “Jim always laughed and smiled when I saw him. He was the nicest guy on the planet. Why does this have to happen?”