A former manager of a Super America gas station in Eagan tells FOX 9 News he got the ax for not calling his bosses soon enough after a crime scene showed up at the store's front door on Tuesday morning.
Most people who get fired turn to family and friends, but Dustin Haberland is taking his complaints of wrongful termination to the streets.
"SA gave me an opportunity. I was faithful. I was loyal. I was dedicated," Haberland told FOX 9 News while standing on the corner of Slater and Cliff roads. "I just wanted to come to work.
Haberland was not on-duty when two men turned up at the gas station asking for help following a shooting on Tuesday morning. The victim had been shot a mile away and was driven to the gas station at 2 a.m. for help.
At 3 a.m., Haberland got a call from a customer about the situation. That's when he called his overnight worker, who said everything was fine at the store.
"He told me the cops were here on the scene, told me everything was under control -- that I wasn't needed," Haberland recalled.
When Haberland found out it wasn't, he called his supervisor right away, but he apparently wasn't fast enough.
"How I got released -- I am still flabbergasted," Haberland admitted.
According to Haberland, he came in for his 6 a.m. shift and learned that the situation had been downplayed.
"I see that we are live on the news -- that my parking lot is a crime scene of a murder investigation," he recalled.
Immediately, Haberland called his district manager, who then came to the store. A day later, Haberland said he was fired for not calling the district manager at 3 a.m. when he first got word.
"There's no training for gunshot wounds, dead on the scene," Haberland said. "I made my phone call as soon as I knew that it was definitely immediate, definitely a crime scene. I had no idea it was that dramatic."
Haberland has been managing the store for a year, and he told FOX 9 News he helped turn around a struggling location.
"I would like to think that I did everything in my power," he said.
Now, he's standing at the intersection to tell his customers why he is not coming back.
"I'm letting them know I'm not going to be here and those standards are going to be back where they were before I arrived," Haberland said.
Customer Sara Cavanag told FOX 9 News she was shocked to learn Haberland had been fired and admitted she's not happy about it.
"It was completely out of his control," she said, speaking on behalf of the Alliance Health Care employees who come to the gas station regularly. "We're totally outraged by it and not happy because there was no reason behind him getting fired."
Cavanag said she and her coworkers plan to boycott Super America in the wake of the firing.
Haberland said he took pride in his work welcoming customers to a store he is still proud of.
"Everything was 'SA all the way,' and this is how I was treated," he remarked.
Since he just bought a home three weeks ago, Haberland is now looking for work to survive. Even despite the firing, he says he would come back to Super America if asked.
FOX 9 News attempted to contact Super America for comment, but repeated calls were not returned.
Yet in the end, Haberland said the focus should not be on him. Rather, it should be on the person who lost his life.
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