updated 6/19/2007 12:53:46 PM ET 2007-06-19T16:53:46

A 17-year-old boy foiled an attempted carjacking, wrestling a gun from a would-be robber and shooting him after the man grabbed his mother, authorities said.

Carl Chestnut, wounded in the head and torso, will face armed robbery charges once he is released from East Jefferson General Hospital, Col. John Fortunato, a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said Monday.

The 53-year-old woman, whose name wasn’t released, and her son were in the drive-through line at an Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant early Monday when Chestnut, 44, walked up and pointed a gun at her, demanding their money and the car, Fortunato said.

When he leaned inside, trying to yank the mother out of the car, the 17-year-old grabbed the gun, Fortunato said. He said it went off once as they struggled, but did not hit anyone. Once the youth got the gun, he shot Chestnut several times, Fortunato said.

Sylena Rhodes, a corporate officer for Arby’s, said, “He saved his mother’s life. He’s a hero. He’s an absolute hero.”

While acknowledging the gamble succeeded, authorities stressed that it’s safer to cooperate in such a case.

“Give them the money and give them the keys,” Sheriff Harry Lee said. “You make an insurance payment on your car, and nobody gets shot.”

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