HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two volunteers ringing the bell and manning the kettle for the Salvation Army got the surprise of their lives Saturday.

The elderly couple, affiliated with the Lion’s Club, were approached by a man outside the First Street Kroger in Huntington Saturday afternoon. In broad daylight, the man pulled out a gun and told the couple to hand over the kettle.

When he took off with the red kettle, the couple attempted to chase him but stopped when they realized he could shoot them.

The couple told police they’re not sure how much money was in the kettle. They’d been accepting donations all afternoon.

Major Matt Riley, who heads up the Salvation Army in Huntington, said in his 24-years with the SA, he’s never heard of anything like this happening in the Huntington area. He stressed, if the armed gunman had needed help, all he had to do was ask.

All the money collected during the kettle campaign goes towards providing Christmas toys and meals for families in need. It also helps pay the bills year-round for the Salvation Army.

Riley said he’s already forgiven the robber. As for the campaign, they will continue to have a kettle and bell ringers at the First Street Kroger location. He said the company has been very generous to the Salvation Army over the years.

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  • knows

    Just legalize drugs put some tax on it like cigs and set aside few $ for poor man burial....less crime cuz drugs$$ on police. Won't need as many. I could go on and on

    • Yourestuip

      Let's legalize robbery. Breaking and entering. Home invasions. Rape. That would save on police and lower the crime rate as well.


    • Kelly

      Spoken like a true meth head.

  • Low Rider

    Gee…armed robbery and the Salvation Army is already forgiving the robber. Liberalism run amuck.

  • Jim N Charleston

    I've said it before, steal from the Salvation Army & you'll burn in hell. It's in the King James Version.

    • wvtd

      what chapter and verse?

      • Joe

        It's in between the verses of "seek and ye shall find", and "finders keepers losers weepers"!


    Arm the Salvation Army bell ringers. Have them shoot to kill. Lol. On a serious note, druggies will do anything to buy the next fix.

  • JS

    I have been to that Kroger in the past.

    Two observations:

    The store is located in a what appears to be a very poor neighborhood.

    The store itself is run down and not very clean. Seems like the company does not care about the store's appearance just like many of its neighbors don't care about their homes.

  • JJ

    Deplorable. Special place in hell reserved for this robber.

  • Kelly

    Let me take a wild guess.... The perp is...never mind. Honestly, it is just not worth commenting about these animals anymore.

    • Jason412

      Spoken like a true narrow minded backwoods hillbilly.

      • Kelly

        You are right Jason. Again, he shot a guy in cold blood at point blank in front of his girlfriend, shot his friend, then walked out smiling. I guess that makes me a hillbilly.

        As Hank Jr once said....I'd love to spit some beechnut that dudes eye and shoot him with my ol' 45.