In last week’s LPM survey, we discussed a store clerk that ended up in jail after turning the tables on a theft suspect in north Nashville, TN. According to police, a shoplifter turned shooting victim claimed to have a gun in his jacket pocket and ran out the door with beer when the store clerk allegedly shot him in the leg. The clerk was charged with aggravated assault as a result.
This is just one of several recent—and ongoing—incidents that involve store clerks shooting at suspected shoplifters as they are fleeing the scene. Many of those involved in these shooting incidents claim that they have the right to defend themselves from these and further incidents, citing other armed thefts where employees have been shot and killed by robbery suspects in similar situations. Others, including local police in this situation, feel that the clerk committed a criminal act by shooting the suspect as he was fleeing from the store and posed no further risk to the store employee.
The original article, “Store Clerk Charged after Shooting Theft Suspect,” can be viewed here.
Our survey participants overwhelmingly believe that the clerk’s shooting of the shoplifting suspect was in no way justified. 87 percent indicated that while the clerk’s fear and anger may be understandable, the clerk was no longer in any imminent danger once the shoplifter left the store and had no right to shoot him. The remaining 13 percent of respondents concluded that the store clerk never should have had a gun in the store in the first place, stating that there is nothing in a store worth someone being hurt or killed.
“Personal feelings about this incident are irrelevant. The law is clear. The suspect was no longer a danger.”
“Shooting someone over a case of beer? Really? There should really be a law prohibiting people from being that stupid in the first place. I guess it’s almost as stupid as putting yourself in a position to be shot over a case of beer.”
“If the suspect as he was leaving threatened others with the gun, then maybe the clerk could be justified.”
“It was simply a bad decision, period.”
“Can understand why someone could be angry or afraid, especially if it’s happened before. But that still doesn’t make it right.”
“Clerks with guns, especially those that don’t know how to use them, is a really bad idea.”
Do you have any additional thoughts? Let us know what’s on your mind.