Harold Mitchell with four bullet holes in his body and swather in bandages, plan to go back to work at the place where it all happened.
Mitchell, 44, is the owner of the Clifton Carry-Out, at 2509 14th St., NW. Last week, he barely escaped with his life when three men entered his store, announced a holdup and the shooting start.
When it was over, 12 bullets have been fired by Mitchell and the intruders, according to police. One of the would be robers lay dead. Mitchell was shot in four places. His brother, Bobby, 48, was hit twice.
Harold Mitchell was released from Washington Hospital Center Wednesday, but Bobby is still there. He is listed in fair condition after initially being on the critical list.
Mitchell says the experience, though harrowing, has left him no less determined to keep operating the business he has dreamed of five years ago when he was a research technician at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Propped up in his bed in the palegreen hospital room, Mitchell talked with a reporter recently about the incident.
"I think I'll get a standing ovation when I go back," he said, "I don't think I'll have any trouble anymore. I think they'll think twice before they come 'in the Clifton Carry-Out, because the first thing they'll say is, Hey, man, don't you go in there, cause those Mitchell brothers'll shoot you.'"
Two suspects in the shooting were remanded to a grand jury yesterday after D.C. Superior Court judge Alfred Burka found probable cause for indictment on armed robbery and possibly other charges. Now being held on $10,000 bond at D.C. jail, they are Robert Lee Dutch, 24, of 2523 14th St. NW. and Keith Odell Reynolds, 19, of 1320 Fairmont St. NW.
Their alleged accomplice, shot dead by Harold Mitchell, was identified by police as Arthur Lee Watson, 21, of 1341 Kenyon St. NW. He leaves a girl-friend and a 13-month son.
What caused Mitchell some concern, he says, was that he recognized the suspects as regulars customers at the Carre-Out.
Watson, he said, "came in every night. Once in a while he gets a sandwich, but mostly what he buys is cigarettes and a quart of beer or malt liquor. That was his speciality. That's what puzzled me. I couldn't believe it when he said this was a holdup and whipped his gun out." One of the suspects, Mitchell said, had called him by name.
"That goes to show you," he reflected. "Who can you trust? You can't trust anybody today. The people that you're suspicious of are the ones that aren't going to do anything to you."
Mitchell says he sees an obligation to the neighborhood to continue his carry-out even though it is located in the high-crime 14th Street corridor. He services Cardozo High School students sandwiches, candy and soft drinks at lunchtime and has one of the few eating places in the neighborhood open until midnight.
And he plans to keep a gun handy, he said. "If I didn't have a gun, could you imagined what would have happened? "We would be dead," he said.
The two suspects who reportedly fled the carry-out after the shootings last week were arrested nearby after Bobby Mitchell sounded a silent alarm. Nothing was taken from the store, although nearly $1,00 was on hand, Harold Mitchell said.
Dr. Peter Moskovitz, who treated Mitchell at Washington Hospital Center said it would be six weeks before Mitchell could return to work. A fracture in his left forearm will take a while to heal, he said, and a minor toe fracture still is painful.
The Clifton Carry-Out reopened Tuesday after a week hiatus, and other members of the Mitchell family were in charge.
On Wednesday, while making hamburgers and "slurpee" drinks behind the counter, Mitchell's cousin, Gladys Terrell, was straight forward when asked if there is still a gun in the premises.
"I always protest myself," she said. "I ain't scared."