Fortunately everything went better than expected. Potentially saved his girlfriend's life.Police charged Hauser with attempted armed robbery. Smith, 34, has a concealed weapons permit and will not face any charges. Police said he acted in self-defense.
"I've only had practice doing casual shooting, as a hobby," Smith said Monday. "It's completely different using it in a situation like this."
As the two got out, Smith pulled his gun from a pocket, considering whether to take it with him. He decided to keep it. In that instant he noticed a dark figure rushing toward Tanner and immediately felt "something wasn't right."
Hauser, who was wearing a ski mask, moved as though he planned to grab Tanner's purse and maybe point his gun at her head, Smith said. Facing Tanner, with Hauser behind her, he instinctively raised his handgun and told Tanner to hit the ground.
"I saw orange flashes over my head," Tanner said. "And then my ears were ringing."
Smith recalled shooting Hauser four times. Hauser fell to the ground, then yelled to Smith: "Don't shoot me anymore!"
Hauser pulled off the mask and told Smith his gun was fake. It was later discovered to be a fully loaded and operational .25 caliber automatic.
It all happened so quickly Tanner didn't have time to think - but is happy Smith was prepared.