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Motel owner fights back with robber's own gun

As Julian Abdelaziz Mazili lay on the ground with a pistol pressed to the back of his head, all that went through his mind was his 5-year-old daughter, Amanda, and how he might never see her again.

He heard one of the men robbing his motel say to the man holding the pistol, "Shoot him."

So Mazili , the motel's owner, said the only thing he thought might save his life. "Wait a minute. I think I have more money."

The two men had already taken $1,000 from the cash register, but they wanted more. When they saw the safe of the Econo Lodge on N 50th Street was empty, they had decided to kill Mazili.

Mazili led the robbers back to the cash register, but it was just as empty as it was before. The two men began yelling and hitting him. In the midst of the chaos, Mazili reached out and grabbed the gun.

"I pointed the gun at the guy and said, "Don't move,' " Mazili said. But Mazili had never fired a gun. So when one of the men came toward him again, he had to use his fists and the gun as a weapon, hitting the men for all he was worth.

"They were going to kill me anyway, so I decided to go ahead and fight them as long as I could," he said.

After he punched one of the men, the robber grabbed the bag of money and ran out, leaving his partner, Eddie Lee Bailey, 32, to fight Mazili on his own.

"I had never been in a fight before," Mazili said. "But I was so scared, I was beating the hell out of him. It was like a movie. I was thinking, "Oh my gosh, what am I doing?' But I was so mad."

Mazili held Bailey until police arrived. The other robber was still at large Saturday night.

Bailey was charged with robbery and aggravated assault. He is being held in the Orient Road Jail in lieu of $26,000 bail.

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