GULFPORT, Miss. (WHLT) – A Hattiesburg man pled guilty to using violence to steal a gun from Academy Sports + Outdoors in Gulfport last year.

Prosecutors said Cody Jerome Cooley, 22, visited the Academy Sports + Outdoors gun counter on November 6, 2021. Cooley asked to see a gun. When he asked to see another, the store clerk turned to get the gun and Cooley hit the clerk with the gun in his hand and ran from the store.

After leaving the store, prosecutors said armed people stopped Cooley in a restaurant parking lot. He admitted to taking the gun and hitting the clerk after being arrested. Surveillance video from the store also captured the incident. The clerk received medical care for his injuries.

Cooley pled guilty to unlawfully obstructing, delaying and affecting interstate commerce by robbery. He faces a 20-year maximum sentence and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12, 2022.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Gulfport Police Department investigated this case.