A Home Depot employee was shot and killed on Tuesday while trying to stop a shoplifter in Pleasanton, California. Based on the ongoing investigation, it has been determined that 26-year-old Blake Mohs, a loss prevention employee, “confronted a female shoplifter who resisted and shot him,” according to the Pleasanton Police Department.
According to reports, Benicia Knapps, 32, was attempting to steal an electrical item, possibly a charger, from the store at approximately 2:30 pm on Tuesday when she was confronted by Mohs as she attempted to leave. A struggle ensued as Knapps resisted, and Mohs was shot. Newly released court documents reveal Knapps told investigators she fired the gun “accidentally” after Mohs tried to wrestle the stolen item out of her hands. Mohs, a Tri-Valley resident, later died of his injuries.
Knapps then ran to a getaway car driven by a male suspect, David Guillory (31) that had been parked by the back loading dock of the store. Knapp’s 2-year-old child was also inside the vehicle. After they fled the scene, a handgun was recovered at a nearby intersection. The car was quickly tracked by an Alameda County Sheriff’s Office aircraft to Knapps’ home in Oakland where the two suspects were detained by Alameda County Sheriff’s Office deputies, and the child was released to relatives.
“As soon as there was confirmation of where that vehicle was and that vehicle was stopped, the deputies were able to quickly make contact and get those folks into custody,” Lt. Tya Modeste, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said.
Guillory was booked into Santa Rita County Jail after his arrest, Pleasanton Police Lt. Erik Silacci said at a briefing Wednesday. Knapps is receiving treatment at a medical facility for injuries related to the robbery and will be booked into the same jail when released, Silacci added. Both suspects are being booked on multiple charges, including murder, robbery, child endangerment and conspiracy. Silacci said he anticipates further charges will be added as the investigation continues.
Mohs had a passion for what he did and was heavily involved in his community, volunteering for youth programs in the Tri-Valley area and taking on the role of an Eagle Scout. He had a “lifelong affiliation with Scouting” and as an adult he volunteered for as many Cub Scout weekend camping events as possible at nearby Camp Royaneh. That’s where he met his fiancée when they were both volunteering in 2018, was engaged in March of 2021, and where they planned to be married later this summer. Blake is also survived by his parents and brother.
“We’re heartbroken over this senseless tragedy,” The Home Depot said in a statement. “Blake was our associate and friend, and our hearts go out to his family and everyone who knew and loved him.”
Pleasanton Mayor Karla Brown offered her condolences to the victim’s family and friends, emphasizing his dedication to the community. “I am devastated by the loss of Blake Mohs in yesterday’s senseless shooting. Through his service to Tri-Valley organizations, Blake was a model for others. To have a life cut short is heartbreaking and infuriating. I’m joined by the City Council in offering our deepest condolences to Blake’s family, friends, loved ones, and to everyone impacted by this tragedy.”
“Just because he’s not here right now, doesn’t mean that all of those lives, all of the people that he touched, aren’t going to pass that forward,” said Lorie Mohs, the victim’s mother. “Blake had a short life. Only 26 years. But he lived it.”