One Teen Dead, Two Other Teens In Custody, Store Employee Arrested

Bob Irwin highlights the latest self defense and other shootings of the week. Read them and see what went wrong, what went right and what we can learn from self defense with a gun.

Gun Barrel Smoke
One Teen Dead, Two Other Teens In Custody, Store Employee Arrested
Bob Irwin
Bob Irwin

USA –-( KSNV News 3 reports in Las Vegas, Nevada on 12-03-2016, LV Metro homicide is investigating a shooting that killed one teen near Durango and Flamingo at a smoke shop in the Desert Breeze Plaza. Preliminary information led investigators to believe this may have been an attempted robbery involving the three teens.

In the update today, 12-7-2016, the video inside the store disagreed with the shooters version of events. The clerk has now been arrested for murder. Video surveillance from other business shows the youngsters covering their faces just before entering the business. The teens then rushed in and began stealing small “head shop’ items.

Although the clerk was some distance away and (according to reports) in no immediate physical danger, he opened fire with a handgun. The first intruder, a 13 year old, suffered several wounds, one of which was a hit in the head.

That individual was transported to University Medical Center and later died from his injuries. The two other teens escaped the gunfire but were taken into custody hiding at a fast food business nearby. The smoke shop employee who fired, quickly requested an attorney. (A smart move)


As additional information is released, this now appears to be a complex shoplifting incident. The charges on the two escaping teens were lowered to misdemeanor theft.

Was it unreasonable to fire in self-defense considering the three on one odds? Was it reasonable for the clerk to perceive some intent of serious harm? Investigators say the “robbers” appear to have ignored him.

As your vision narrows under stress, things are often perceived as being closer. As of this writing, no weapons possessed by the intruders, have been found. Could the clerk recognize the young ages of the robbers? Given their speed and facial covering, that seems nearly impossible.

The clerk had to make a tough call in an instant. When attacked by what you can see is a youngster, what do you do? The correct answer of course is don’t die!

A horrible incident for all involved and their families. There will be all kinds second guessing on this. I expect the LVMPD Investigators will sort out all the relevant facts and eventually a jury will have a truly tough decision.

Bob Irwin, The Gun Store, Las Vegas

About Bob Irwin

The writer is the owner of The Gun Store in Las Vegas and has a gun talk radio show “Fired Up with Bob Irwin” Firedup is now on KSHP 1400 am radio from 5 to 6 pm on Thursdays and at the same time also on YouTube “Fired Up with Bob Irwin.

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3 guys in masks come in , you dont know their intention other than its bad.

Stephen C. Gregory

In a parallel universe, 3 teens conspired to shoplift a large quantity of items from a store. The youngest, only age 13, entered the store first. Startled by the store operator, he fired his gun hitting the innocent victim one time in the head. The victim, who should have thought better of startling a possibly armed 13-year-old, died on the spot. Commenters on the story mostly opined that the death was not attributable to the teen because he was only 13 years old. Police and the family of the teen had no comment for the negligent, dead store clerk’s family.… Read more »


Shoplifters never bother to cover up their faces, this was a robbery and with their faces covered implies armed robbery.

Old 1811

Actually, in today’s camera-drenched society, they do.
The more salient point is, armed robbers don’t stop to boost crap off the shelves. They go straight to the clerk and rob him.
This was a shoplifting gang and nothing more. There was no need for the clerk to shoot anyone. If they had approached the clerk, maybe he would have a case. But they didn’t.


I do not condone excessive force in this manner but let this be a lesson to you urbanites .Bad judgement on both sides can get you killed.And as for the parents.Communication before these things happen is of the most importance.Quit being your kids friend and be a parent.

Nomen Ignotus

Illinois ( do not know Nevada) ..enter a store and then commit theft …is shoplifting…which is theft …under $300 is a class A misdemeanor and over is a class 4 felony …however if it can be proven that the defendant entered with the intent to commit a theft …of any amount ..then under case law is not an authorized access to the store ..then it is burglary …a class 2 felony .( putting on the masks seems to establish that ) … however …the question of the use of deadly force to stop the commission of the felony …becomes… Read more »

Jim Halberson

…and the moral of this story? “Play stupid games and you’ll win stupid prizes” as the teen who was shot fund out.

Don in Arkansas

If the shooter can not show an immediate threat/danger, he is in deep doo doo. If you are going to carry a weapon, you are responsible for the shot. Just given the stated facts and not seeing the actual video it does not look like shooting was justified.


three masked individuals enter a business, start taking things, HOW does the storekeeper know beyond a reasonable doubt at least one of them is NOT armed and that their plan since before they entered the shop was to make sure no one left behind in the sotre could ever identify them? Ever heard of the robber last thing before he leaves silencing” everyone in the place? Dead men tell no tales… nor can they ever identify the robbers. Most states anyone gaining unauthorised entry to a residence or business premises can be met with lethal force… you go in masked… Read more »

Old 1811

That’s kind of a stretch. In every robbery I’ve ever heard of where the clerk was killed, the actual crime was a robbery of the clerk and the till, not a misdemeanor theft of items from the shelves. The only exceptions to that rule that I know of were cases where the clerk physically attempted to stop the shoplifter. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. Using the logic you described above, you could shoot any property criminal, whether he threatened or even saw you or not, since he could conceivably be armed and could hurt you. Do you… Read more »

Dave Brown

Our S Court has given Law Enforcement the right to decide when to shoot, and some LE shoot to quick and way to many rounds before they take a breath and decide if the threat still exists, or if it ever existed. I say We The People should have that exact same right. One could argue that LE is highly trained and a better Judge. I say that is a bunch of BS as they are having a problem higher Cops in general, and I am sure the training ain’t what it should be. Teach Restraint and Judgement first. Encourage… Read more »


Agree with you.

Most officers spend more time filing paperwork to process criminals and little range time if any outside of qualifications.

Many recreational shooters practice regularly and also are active in competitive shooting.
Do I have to wait to take some lead in my direction before I put a stop to the threat?


It look like those 3 teens who came to the store in Vegas are excused for the crime that they did and do not have to suffer having shot at. It’s a crazy idea! They should be responsible for their crime of shoplifting, knowing it’s illegal and punishable anywhere. They should have been shot altogether and die; they’re scum of the earth….not welcome anywhere.
They should release the shooter .


So you just let a person steal you blind because they aren’t posing an immediate danger? Sounds like an open invitation for criminals to keep coming back.


Actually there are some states where the two surviving robbers would be charged for the homicide, hope Nevada is one of those. If not he’ll need a good lawyer.

Jim Macklin

The two surviving teens should be charged with Felony Murder since the death of their friend would not have happened except for their criminal conspiracy.

The clerk could assume that masked men in his store were armed, since simple shoplifters rarely put on masks. A good lawyer can get an innocent verdict.

Most sates have a law that makes wearing a mask a crime if you do it to hide your identity during the commission of a crime.

Old 1811

As far as I know, the felony murder rule only applies if one of the accomplices is killed in a justifiable homicide. That doesn’t appear to be the case here.
If they had actually robbed the clerk and he had shot one of them, the felony murder rule would apply. Since it appears that the clerk wrongfully shot the kid for shoplifting, it wasn’t a justifiable shooting, so the shoplifter’s accomplices should not be made to suffer for the clerk’s unlawful actions.


Youngster? This is what you call robbers? Shop lifting is such a sweet cute term…… shoplifting btw is not just grabing crap, thats robbing the place… shoplifting is when you try and Hide the fact your stealing hence the word “shop” lifting or acting as if your shoping….. people are TIRED OF ANY AGE SCUMBAGS stealing their stuff and no one should EVER have to put up with it….. if you rob and you get shot thats your own dumbass fault period If I had a store that when caught stealing Id cut your hand off there wouldnt be stealing… Read more »

Old 1811

Robbery is defined in common law as “taking by force or fear.” There was no force here, and no fear. This was not a robbery, it was a theft. Whether a theft is a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the value of the goods that were stolen. I doubt if a handful of “head shop items” would reach a felony threshold, which in most states ranges from $100 to %500. You can’t shoot to protect property. You can only shoot to protect life. The clerk knew he was being videotaped, and he chose to shoot, even though he was… Read more »


Hey, if you want to do the crime, good luck on what happens to you, you big dummy!!! NO good punks.


My thinking exactly.


Drop them like a used rubber !


Sounds like a less than justified shooting. This being Nevada, the clerk may have a chance with a jury if it goes to trial. He would have a better chance in Texas where the probability of a hung jury over shooting a thief would be a better probability. He would be toast in CA or the northeast.

Jim S

As a resident of Commiefornia, he would be toast in any of the big cities along our west coast/side, but he would have a chance of a hung jury in any of the eastern counties.


Last I looked, California does allow lethal force to protect property. And a business owner/manager can be armed inside the premises with no extra paperwork.

Don’t know Nevada’s laws about property and lethal force, but there may be a provision for the use of lethal force to being against a felony in progress…. the lawyers will know all about that. But Bob DOES raise signficant questions that, so far, are not clearly answered, relating to the shopkeeper’s assessment of his a[arent risk.


It is not clear from the narrative whether the clerk protested the thefts. If he did, they may have threatened him or voiced threats so that he feared that he would be attacked. I would suggest that ,being young and not well seasoned, he did feel some fear. How much will depend on his legal counsel and the jury.