Thomasville business owner called a hero after being stabbed while trying to protect people inside his store

THOMASVILLE, N.C. – Wes Anderson is being called a hero for putting his life in danger to protect people inside of the Anderson Hobby Shop Thursday afternoon.

Police say Jerick Raheem Gray stabbed Anderson before police shot and killed Gray.

Anderson spoke with FOX8 Saturday afternoon as the store reopened. He says the shock is wearing off and the reality of what happened is finally starting to set in.

Anderson says the police sirens and helicopter flying above made him come outside that afternoon.

"We often see chases come down the highway," said Anderson.

However, things were different on Thursday. Salisbury police were in pursuit of a bank robber and their attempt to stop 43-year-old Gray ended in the parking lot in front of Anderson’s store.

He went outside to get a good look at the chaos coming down Business 85.

"Law enforcement believe he picked here to come in to get a hostage," said Anderson’s brother, Matt Anderson.

Wes Anderson had no idea he would end up face-to-face with the man police wanted to arrest.

"It was real quick," said Wes Anderson. "It was just hold the door, tackle and he just reached over and just jabbed it in my chest."

He kept holding that door, refusing to let Gray get inside.

"I had family and friends in here," said Wes Anderson.

The knife came close to killing Wes Anderson.

"It stopped one centimeter from his heart as well," said Matt Anderson.

Wes Anderson returned to work just two days after a knife went into his chest and was greeted by dozens of customers. Some gave a kiss on the forehead while other simply said welcome with a handshake.

"I definitely wouldn't want to lose him," said Matt Anderson.