Locals Support Bank Shooting Victim's Family With Burgers and Hugs

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UPDATE: An official with Burger Me tells KOLO 8 News Now a total of $2,250 was raised for the Sperry Memorial Fund.

RENO, NV - Most of those who walked into Burger Me at Robb and Sharlands Drive in northwest Reno Tuesday afternoon never met Bob Sperry, but many who were there remain inspired by his example.

October 16th, the 80-year-old former Marine was standing in line at a Bank of America branch on South Virginia.

The man next to him drew a gun and demanded money from the teller. Sperry turned to the man and said, "Get out of here." The robber shot him in the chest.

"A tragedy like that with no sense is hard to comprehend, but we just want to support him for what he did," says Joe Marson, who showed up with his wife for lunch.

"I think we have to honor the courage that it took to do what he did," said Jessi LeMary, whose friend was in the bank at the time of the shooting. "He's exactly who I would want for my neighbor."

Twenty percent of the day's proceeds is going to a memorial fund to help Sperry's family, but many also left an extra dollar or two. One man walked in, said he didn't have time for lunch, but left a sizeable check.

But this was about more than a good burgers and a good cause.

The man behind the counter taking orders as he does every day is Sperry's son, Joe. The customers were leaving more than money.

"A lot of people ask me if they can hug me and that's when it gets emotional. And so I give them a hug and they tell me to pass it on to my mom," says Joe.

"They wish there were more people out there like him. He did what a lot of people wouldn't do, maybe what a lot of people would want to do."