Bystander Opens Fire on Home Depot Shoplifting Suspects

Michigan woman could face criminal charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2015 3:12 AM CDT
Bystander Opens Fire on Fleeing Shoplifters
Police released this photo of the suspects' vehicle.   (Auburn Hills Police)

A license to carry a concealed weapon isn't a license to kill shoplifters, gun safety experts reminded the public after a Michigan woman fired at fleeing suspects outside a Home Depot. Police say that after seeing a loss prevention officer chase a suspected shoplifter outside the Auburn Hills store on Tuesday afternoon, the 47-year-old bystander fired several shots as the man made his getaway in an SUV driven by another suspect, the Detroit News reports. Police say it doesn't appear that anybody was injured, but one of the bullets may have flattened one of the vehicle's rear tires. The woman, who has a concealed pistol license, could face criminal charges, reports the Oakland Press.

Gun experts say that since there was no danger of imminent death or injury, the woman is likely to face charges, including reckless use of a firearm. "You have to know the entire situation before you pull that handgun out," the owner of Detroit Arms tells the Detroit Free Press. "And I don't see that a shoplifter at Home Depot fills any of those criteria." She runs courses for concealed weapon holders and says the situation is her "worst nightmare" as an instructor. "None of it makes sense," she adds. "Even if it were law enforcement, they wouldn't do that." The suspects, who are said to have made off with power tools worth around $1,000, are still at large. (Another Michigan gun owner accidentally killed herself with a concealed gun in her bra.)

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