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(TX) Clerk shoots reported beer thief

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Drizzt, Sep 6, 2007.

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  1. Drizzt

    Drizzt Member

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    Clerk shoots reported beer thief

    05:19 PM CDT on Thursday, September 6, 2007

    By Carolyn Campbell and Vicente Arenas / 11 News

    The clerk followed the suspect to his car. A Heights area store clerk shot and killed a man who allegedly ran out of his store with 18 beers Wednesday night.

    The shooting happened at a Conoco in the 600 block of Studewood at White Oak.

    The clerk said the man went into the store around 11:45 p.m. and walked out with a 12-pack and a six-pack of beer. The store clerk followed the suspect out to his car.

    The suspect allegedly reached for something, and that's when the clerk shot him once in the chest, fearing the man was reaching for a gun.

    Two witnesses tried to perform CPR on the suspect, but he died at the scene.

    Houston police haven't determined if the suspect had a weapon in his car. The case has been referred to a grand jury.

    “You can’t run rampant and just go steal beer. I mean if that guy let him steal beer then what’s next. They steal your car. They steal everything,” said Ary Bolanos who is a customer.

    Officials say a clerk was killed at this store several years ago by another man trying to steal a can of beer.

    While the murder rate in the Heights is down, burglaries are up nearly 40 percent.

    “You’ve gotta be very suspicious and now you’ve got to be very careful in the neighborhood,” said Santa Iturralde. He’s a customer.

    The Conoco service station sits on a corner next to a couple of popular bars that have opened up in the last couple of years. The legendary Fitzgerald’s club sits right across the street.

    A clerk at the store Thursday said he’s got some really cool customers and knows many of them by name. He even gives some of them credit when they can’t pay for gas or cigarettes.

    But he said things have been changing in the neighborhood over the past couple of years. The store was recently broken into, and the cash register was smashed open.

    There have been several other robberies and home burglaries in the area; recently, vandals broke out the windows of several business in the area.

    The Heights has been in transition for years now.

    There are new bars and $400,000 homes, but along with the growth though comes pain.

    Just Ask store clerk Tony Vong. “It was kind of quiet for a year or two and then the crime rate started coming up again.”

    The same can be said of many Houston neighborhoods.

    In the Heights though certain crimes outpace the rest of Houston.

    The beauty that attracts so many people here, it seems, also attracts the bad guys.

    http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou070906_ac_heightsclerk.a88a2aca.html
     
  2. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I'm sure the criminal was the oft-cited "good boy."

    The real pity isn't that the "good boy" died for 18 cans of beer, but that other "good boys" aren't smart enough to learn the obvious lesson from his stupid mistake.
     
  3. TehK1w1

    TehK1w1 Member

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    I'm getting seriously tired of living in Houston...
     
  4. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Member

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    Killed for 18 cans of beer.

    Wow.
     
  5. Flak_Jakett

    Flak_Jakett Member

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    He followed the suspect to the car? I think in my state the man would get some real prison time for that. The suspect was fleeing. And if he stole coors light or some other such pee water, then the store was only out like what?... 5 bucks? And for that he was killed. I hope the guy is happy with living down the fact that he shot a guy for 18 cans of beer.
     
  6. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Two Things

    We'll overlook the fact that this guy had already made the decision that a case of beer was what his life was worth.

    Because, there are a couple of other pertinent facts:
    . . . and . . .
    Sometimes they just want the beer.

    Other times they're willing to kill you for it.

    You choose which one you're dealing with today.
     
  7. Mannix

    Mannix Member

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    None of us were there(please post if you were).
    All the facts aren't out yet.

    For all we know the BG COULD have been going for a gun, at any rate it says he was shot in the chest, not the back. Meaning whatever he was going for, he turned around at the same time, presumably in a menacing fashion, which would be considered a very foolish thing to do if the person following you was armed.

    Bottom line, there's not enough info to determine if it was a good or bad shoot.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  8. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    This is truly excellent.

    Let us assume that the story is as written. Dangerous assumption that the media got it right I know... but still:
    1. The man stole the beer
    2. The clerk chased after him
    3. The clerk suddenly felt in danger because he ''thought'' the alleged BG might be reaching for a weapon.
    4. Clerk puts a pill in the BG's chest
    5. No weapon was found
    6. No other witnessess
    7. Years ago someone else had been killed at the store over beer.
    8. No charges were filed

    I like it.

    Now every mall Ninja at shopping mall everywhere with his tactical Glock 40 can feel a sense of urgency when faced with alleged shoplifters. ''She was reaching in her purse I swear! I thought she was bringing out a .38 or something...The baby carriage is more than adequate to hide a sawed off SXS.... Those little punks come in here everyday after school stealing stuff....''

    Shoplifting is hardly a victimless crime anyway. The company loses real money over it and that could mean the difference between a vacation in Europe and a vacation in the Antilles to some corporate honcho.

    I say we give ''license to kill'' to security guards and store clerks everywhere. These highly trained individuals with catlike reflexes are able to make snap decisions on who is stealing what... and can blow the trash away to make perfect society for the rest of us.

    We could even take it a step fruther and make the death penalty the only punishment for all crime but I think people lack the courage for that these days.
     
  9. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Flak Jacket- The dead man was a thief. A criminal. That's enough for me. Doesn't matter if was a can of beer or a million dollars in value. A thief is a thief and I suspect that men would have been quite willing to commit violence against his victim with no lost sleep.

    I have zero tolerance for criminals.

    When I was about 20 I was working nights in a convenience store. Guy walked out with two cases of beer one night and I went after him with a 1911in my hand. I would not have shot a shoplifter at that time (I now realize how dangerous any criminal can be) but worried he might get violent. In the parking lot he had 3 friends waiting. The 4 to 1 odds looked bad so I cranked off a round in the air. Great fun. They ran like the rats they were dropping the beer and falling over each other to get away.

    No, none of the neighbors called the cops.
     
  10. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    No, killed for stealing another man's livelihood. Good shoot, hope it works out OK for the store owner.
     
  11. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Member

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    Actually, don't we know that in this case, the bad guy was not looking to kill the clerk? The bad guy had already left the store. If his aim was to kill the clerk, then he would have done so in the store.

    I would consider that pretty clear evidence that the bad guy just wanted the beer.

    Mike
     
  12. Shadowangel

    Shadowangel Member

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    Doesn't mean he can take it without reprecussions. I want a million dollars. If I tried to steal it, I would expect to be shot at.
     
  13. One of Many

    One of Many Member

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    Notice that they say the crime problem has increased in the last two years - KATRINA transplants most likely. The criminals that were forced out of LA and ended up in TX, decided that the TX area was richer pickings than what they would find back in LA.

    When the BG turns to confront the chasing store clerk, and makes a motion that can be reasonably interpreted to be reaching for a weapon, the clerk can justifiably fear for his life. To exercise the right of self defense, the clerk is not required to have exercised good judgment in trying to stop the thief from getting away with the stolen goods, the clerk is required to have reasonable fear of death at the hands of the BG. If the BG had simply dropped the beer and kept going (with his back to the clerk) he would not have been considered to be a threat, and could not be justifiably shot. This situation turns on the fact that the BG decided to confront the clerk, and made threatening motions.
     
  14. CountGlockula

    CountGlockula Member

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    'Nuff said. Do we want criminals to do anything they want to innocent, law abiding citizens? NO. Fight or flight...the clerk chose to fight.

    BUT, it is questionable if it was self-defense since the clerk thought the BG had a gun. To be continued...
     
  15. otcconan

    otcconan Member

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    I work in retail, and we are instructed never to follow anyone who is stealing past the point of sale. It is for our own protection. It's sad, but I have a feeling the clerk is going to hang for this (figuratively, of course). I don't know what Conoco's policy is, but I suspect it's similar. The very best that can happen is he'll walk on the indictment, but lose his job anyway.

    Killed for 18 beers? Not really that sad, in my opinion. Fired for 18 beers? Really, really stupid.
     
  16. Karma

    Karma Member

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    That same news channel has reported that the DA is filing charges on the clerk. The (Houston) Chronicle hasn't updated the story.
     
  17. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    You shoot and kill someone in Texas you go to the Grand Jury no matter what, the DA has no choice in that.
     
  18. TexKettering

    TexKettering Member

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    Really? What exactly is the Grand Jury... I'm playing the ignorant card. :D


    According to the Texas deadly force statutes, it appears that the clerk was legally justified in using force.
     
  19. HKUSP45C

    HKUSP45C Member

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    Which is as it should be. It keeps the next "law dog" DA from pressing charges on you later. A very nifty device to prevent double jeapordy.
     
  20. brerrabbit

    brerrabbit Member

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    I am not sure but I do not believe Double Jeopardy applies to grand jury proceedings.
     
  21. HKUSP45C

    HKUSP45C Member

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    Interesting. So a failed indictment isn't a trial? It seems intuitive to me that it would apply. Then again I won't vouch for the voracity of my earlier statement. I heard it from my dad a long time ago and since it made sense, I assumed it was true. If it's not then I still think homocides of all stripes should go before a group of uninvolved people to decide on the circumstances and whether they warrant a real trial or not. So, it's still as it should be. :)

    Edit: it appears you're correct.

    Edit part two: It just occurred to me that I never put my 2 cents in about the shooting. While I wouldn't kill a man over a case of beer (much less an 18 pack) I can certainly see following him out to his vehicle to get his plates and particulars .... while armed. I can also certainly see shooting him if he turned and reached for "something" in a place I'd expect a gun to be. I can also certainly expect Texas to let this clerk off for killing a thief, we're just kooky that way here. Somehow, I just don't hear about people killing criminals (of any flavor) in Texas and taking a ride up the river for it. Must be something in the water down here. I think I'll go have me another glass of it.
     
  22. mr_dove

    mr_dove Member

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    It seems like a fine shoot to me. The clerk did not go after the thief to kill him. He went to retrieve stolen property or to apprehend the thief. Unfortunately the situation escalated to a self defense situation.

    It seems that alot of high roaders have trouble differentiating between these two scenarios:

    1. defending PROPERTY with deadly force (illegal in most states)
    2. attempting to retrieve stolen property without deadly force (ok in every state) but then using deadly force in self defense when the thief attacks.

    I suppose many folks must think its illegal to try to retrieve your property from a thief.
     
  23. MrPeter

    MrPeter Member

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    If you're going to follow the chump out to his car to try to get your beer back, don't bring a gun. If you think he might try to hurt you, stay where it's safe and use your gun if its necessary there. Don't go out looking for trouble with your gun in hand.

    This one feels wrong to me.
     
  24. Scorpiusdeus

    Scorpiusdeus member

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    In general I doubt I'd shoot someone over 18 cans of beer (What beer comes in and 18 pack anyway). Still, the guy is a thief and a pretty bold one at that. If he has the balls o walk in a store and walk out with 18 cans of beer, you know he robs and does other stuff.

    Screw him!
     
  25. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Clarification

    It is correct that the thief just left the store with the beer, and probably equally correct that, had the clerk stayed where he was, that might have been the end of it. Except, of course, for the paperwork for inventory shrinkage.

    We've all heard the mantra that you don't resist and don't try to stop the bad guy, 'cuz someone might get hurt.

    I probably don't have to explain that this conduct will only lead to emboldened thieves. At some point, the good people have to stand up to, and resist, the bad people. That's the only way the bad people will have any incentive to stop what they're doing -- or at least to find a softer target.

    So you arm yourself in order to defend against the (likely) violence that may ensue when you interdict the bad guy as he tries, once again -- with impunity -- to just walk off with the merchandise.

    Now, the bad guy has a choice: 1) realize that he has met resistance, put down the beer, and leave, or 2) decide ain't nobody gonna tell him he can't take the beer, and try to make that point.

    1) bad guy puts down beer, says, "okay you win, I be leavin' now," and makes his exit. Nobody gets shot, and the bad guy makes a mental note that this store is "not the droids" he's looking for.

    2) bad guy turns to resist/scare/attack/whatever the good guy. This is bad, because the good guy has to defend himself against a person whose intentions are already known to be bad. There is a shoot-out. If the bad guy chose to resist but forgot to bring a gun, that's a really poor operational decision. If the bad guy did bring a gun, maybe both get hurt, maybe the bad guy wins, maybe the good guy wins.

    In either case, what does NOT happen is that the bad guy walks away with stolen merchandise no incentive to stop doing that.

    Good people have to resist the bad acts of bad people. It's scary, and some of the good guys are going to get hurt. Courage is being scared and acting anyway.

    Eventually, the bad guys will a) lose, and no longer be a factor, b) win, but know that the free ride is over, c) make a career choice about what they're doing or where they're doing it.

    If the good people hide or stand idly by or decide "it ain't my yob, mon," then the bad people will end up running things.

    And that's bad.
     
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