A clothing store owner shot two robbers – killing one – after they critically wounded his 65-year-old mother in a robbery attempt yesterday. One of the robbers staggered out and died in front of the store, Martin Berk Clothing at 3492 Broadway, near 142nd Street. He was identified by police as Vernon Jackson, 26, of 509 W 144th Street. The other, John May, 26, of 552 W 144th Street was taken to Logan Hospital in critical condition with a neck wound. Both were wearing blue security uniforms.
Mr Jackson had entered saying he wanted money and pointed his gun at Mr Atlas’ mother, Mabel Berk, who was seated behind the cash register. Mr Atlas then reached under the counter for his new, licensed .38 caliber pistol and fired one shot at Mr Jackson’s head just as Mr Jackson fired a bullet into the face of Mrs. Berk.
It was the third time in the last three months that the clothing store had been robbed. One of the police officers at the scene yesterday said he had been shot at during a robbery there on Feb 24th by a robber using a .38-caliber pistol that, it turned out later, had been stolen from the Berk store just a week earlier.
Vernon Jackson had been a good employee for DKD Security Company, but had left 5 months earlier after working there for a year.
excerpt April 9 1977 David Bird NYT