Discount Store is Cheap, Popular and Spreading Across America; It’s Also a Robbery Magnet

In the year before Dave Dukes killed a man who was trying to rob the store where he worked, he’d witnessed three other robberies. After each of them, Dukes, 28, would say later, he’d asked his supervisors at Dollar General to put in a security guard. But, according to Dukes, his bosses didn’t do that — though, because of how many robberies he’d been through, they did start sending him out to train employees at other stores. After the third robbery, Dukes started bringing a gun to work. Then, in October 2019, the fourth robbery happened.

According to the local prosecutor’s office, a man entered the store with a gun and demanded money from the cashier. When Dukes tried to intervene, the man — Roosevelt Rappley, just 23 years old — pointed his gun at Dukes. Then Dukes pulled out his own gun and shot Rappley, killing him.

A grand jury in Ohio reviewed the case and found Dukes “acted lawfully under the circumstances,” according to the prosecutor’s office. But by then Dukes was out of a job, allegedly having been fired by Dollar General for violating company policy. Dollar General’s 2019 policy said that possession of a firearm on the company premises may result in termination…

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Dollar General declined to say why Dukes was terminated, saying in an email that it does not comment publicly on specific employment situations. The company said it does not retaliate “against employees who make good faith reports of safety concerns.” It also maintains that the safety of its employees is a top priority.

Rappley’s family is still trying to process his death eight months after the robbery. Rappley’s sister Jasmine Jessery said in an interview that she didn’t hold a grudge toward Dukes. “He was protecting himself,” she said. Jessery described her brother as a kind person who had linked up with the wrong crowd. “Everything went sour” then, she said… KMOV4 News

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