A Dunham’s Sports security alarm sounded as the 33-year-old Isenhour left the store inside the Cleveland Mall off of US 74, police say.
Isenhour, 22, heard the alarm and began to follow Francis. At some point, Isenhour took a 9mm Taurus handgun out of his back pocket, Ledford said. The two men confronted one another and things escalated, Ledford said.
Francis put down a backpack taken from the store filled with men’s shirts and small camping equipment items, Ledford said.
“The employee starts giving commands and (Francis) starts to walk away when this employee opened fire,” Ledford said.
Francis was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers did find a holster and a BB gun underneath Francis. The BB gun was not in the holster when officers found Francis, but they are still unsure if it fell out when he was shot or if Francis had the gun in his hand, Ledford said.
“That is one of the things we are trying to figure out,” Ledford said.
More than six people witnessed Isenhour run across the mall parking lot toward the Hampton Inn after Francis. At least two people who saw the scene unfold told officers Francis never pointed the BB gun at Isenhour, Ledford said.
Officers in Shelby were familiar with Francis, who was known to visit the area from his home state of West Virginia. He never had a permanent home or job in Shelby, Ledford said.
Francis last lived more than 380 miles away in Fairmont, West Virginia, according to several officers who remember stopping to talk with Francis as he wandered around the community over the past several weeks, Ledford said.
Investigators don’t believe Isenhour and Francis knew one another.
A 20-year veteran, Ledford said he has never investigated an incident where a store employee reportedly shot a person over shoplifted items.
Inquires about Isenhour’s employment history at the Shelby store were referred to Dunham’s Sports corporate office in Troy, Michigan. The corporate office did not return phone calls from The Star as of 5 PM Wednesday.
Isenhour has been charged with first-degree murder, carrying a concealed weapon and discharging a firearm inside city limits.
He is in Cleveland County Jail without bond. If convicted as charged, Isenhour would face a minimum of life in prison without parole… The Star