Store Owner Faces Felony Charges After Shooting At Fleeing Beer Thieves

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.

Gavel Lawsuit Courts Guns Justice
Store Owner Faces Felony Charges After Shooting At Fleeing Beer Thieves
Bob Irwin
Bob Irwin

USA –-( WPMI-TV Local 15 News in Mobile, Alabama reported 11-29-2016 an incident at 7 p.m., on Thanksgiving Day. A suspect entered the One Stop Food Mart and attempted to steal some beer. That was successful and he ran to a waiting get-a-way car.

Mobile Police reported that the 43-year-old owner of the convenience store shot at the alleged thieves as they were driving out of his parking lot.

Police noted suspected thieves did not have weapons and they were in a car attempting to leave the store when the owner fired multiple shots. The 21 year old driver of the car was shot in the shoulder by the gunfire.

He wasn’t the one that actually went inside the store to steal the beer. Police are still searching for the second suspect who actually stole the beer. Both men are of course equally culpable and face misdemeanor theft charges.

It’s the store owner who’s now facing two felony charges of Assault 2nd degree. As of this report he is out of jail on bond.

MPD spokesman Terence Perkins said, “If this person had a weapon, you have a right to defend yourself. But committing a theft, we discourage deadly force. We discourage any business owner from chasing behind someone, exiting the store and actually firing into a vehicle. That could have been a deadly situation.”

Folks living in the community had mixed feelings on the owner’s actions.

“I feel that it’s sad it happened like that, but stop stealing! That’s just it, stop stealing,” said frequent customer. Another said “It’s a lot of stealing going on but you don’t have the right to go shoot somebody.”


We can all understand the owner/victim’s frustration here. This is grab what you want and run crime is happening all over the country, thousands of times a week. Occasionally these become large groups, organized on cell phones just moments before. The “I have a right to your stuff generation” is everywhere. Solutions?

Doors that automatically lock them in or out. Pepper spray, Tasers, and yes, gunfire when you are physically in danger! Video everything so the jury will understand.

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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A criminal is a criminal…. PERIOD !

Jim Macklin

The Constitution is not a law, it is the framework for the laws. The Constitution is enforced with laws and interpreted by the courts. It is applied by the police with human [flawed] judgement, filtered by district attorneys and juries. The constitutions of the federal government and each of the fifty states are similar but far different in detail. A study of the history of each state can explain why certain things are included or excluded from the constitution and the laws written under that constitution. For example, in Kansas you can use deadly force to defend and repel an… Read more »

Dr Dave

It’s a concern that so many gun supporters like this group don’t know the law and are out there assuming the wrong information giving the rest of us the stigma as being vigilantes and not knowing what we can and can’t do. If every gun owner ASSUMED that they could use a gun to stop an otherwise non-violent issue then the anti-gunners would have a field day in DC making new laws that trash the 2nd Am. WE need to educate everyone from the earliest we can get them to understand the laws and proper uses of self defense tools… Read more »

Dave Eckart

I don’t believe any posts advocated what you suggested, and, as you stated, the 2A is not about preserving one’s property. The issue is, why should we just let someone walk-off with our property just because they are non-violent? If you are unable, due to physical disability or other issue(s), why should you just become an unwitting victim of robbery? At what point is stopping the perp justified? I understand this case outlined in the above article makes it appear use of force was not justified, but why do we need to allow the perp to flee with our property?… Read more »

Dr Dave

Dave I agree no one should do NOTHING (sit like sheep and be mowed down or robbed blind) the question is between nothing and using a gun there are loads of other options that this store didn’t avail himself of He didn’t yell get out he didn’t call 911 he didn’t toss a bat across the store he simply did nothing then when they are pulling OUT of the lot he grabs a gun and opens fire into the back of the moving car GOD knows how many people he could have killed by the bullets going thru an thru… Read more »

Gene Ralno

Allowing the government to define steps one must take to protect life and property is tantamount to ceding to the government one’s civil right to life and property. That’s precisely what Bloomberg and his armies now are doing. First they register. Then they limit ownership. Then they limit use. Eventually defending oneself becomes so onerous that it’s impossible to follow the law. California, et al., limit magazine size, ergonomic accessories, barrel length, ammunition price and type, storage, loans, inheritances and on and on. What you’re suggesting is the government must infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear. Requiring… Read more »

Dave Eckart

Dr Dave, stopping a perp from stealing one’s stuff is not vigilantism. As I previously stated, this story as related, does not support self-defense, nor have I suggested such, either. As I stated, and as you are stating, once the perp is outside, the law, as currently interpreted and written, legally gives no recourse to the victim and allows the perp to get away with your possessions, and there’s nothing you are legally allowed to do about it. Again, that is what I stated to you is what all these posters whom you are denigrating are upset about. The same… Read more »


Recently, CA state lawmakers raised the minimum dollar amount for grand theft to $950.00. Stores that can, are moving their big-screen televisions and small yet pricey electronic stuff well inside the stores. Those with limited storage space might take to hiring special security people who will make not-so-petty thieves extremely unable to enjoy their ill-gotten goods. All it takes is one or two “Kaiser Soze” stories to make a petty thief think twice.

David Christensen

So why are there shootings during bank robberies….. Can’t they just hand them the money and all get along?
Shooting isn’t justified until it’s a LOT of money…….. The shopkeeper may have been near foreclosure, and the beer meant a lot to his bottom line…… the bank’s money is insured…… So if a bank guard shoots at a robber, is he arrested?

Dr Dave

The bank robber is armed that is the key difference This situation was purely UNARMED non-violent robbers In the situation where someone is in your house that is different it is then Castle Doctrine but in a commercial facility and NO weapons then no use of deadly force is allowed Now if you stop them at the door and they start to threaten you physically then it becomes a self defense case again. This situation was a simple pure robbery and the shop owner didn’t even have the altercation until they were driving away a clear reason to arrest him… Read more »

Wild Bill

Dr D is quite right, you must be able to articulate your reasonable fear for your life or health for the level of force that you employ. And as Jim Macklin points out, the law of self defense should be taught in grade school!


Nope. There is no requirement in the law that one be able to “articulate” their fear…… only to HAVE it, and perhaps, for the sake of the prosecutor/jury, to explain to them, or have your lawyer do so, that you DID indeed have it….. being able to articulate your fear is not proof you have it at the time and under the circumstances. And THAT is the justifying factor for the use of lethal force.


So…If I’m unarmed I can walk into your house and take your stuff…It’s all good?

Dr Dave

House is different that falls under Castle Doctrine. In your home you are the king and therefore simply entering without permission is a crime that is defensible but a store is not a castle and it is unreasonable to use deadly force to defend an otherwise unarmed non-violent BG. Also 2 packs of beer is not a felony it is at best a misdemeanor so suggesting deadly force is egregious and excessive without any violent component. In addition the 2nd A does NOT give citizens lawful ability to become their own law and order agency. That is the MAIN issue… Read more »


Dr. D, you are dead wrong… WHY do the PEOPLE have the right to keep and bear arms? Is it not to assure “the security of a free state” (that word “state” means simply civil society)? Is one’s store being robbed by a couple of thugpunks who have no respect for other people or their stuff? Are YOU secure in yuor person, house, papers, effects, when someone can walk in at will and take what they will? Of COURSE not. Today its a rack of cheap beer, maybe worth ten bucks. Tomorrow.. what, a gun store? The shop owner’s car,… Read more »

Gene Ralno

I couldn’t agree more. The 2nd Amendment is a civil right. The state has no civil rights. Only individuals have civil rights. This civil right is what guarantees one’s existence. It cannot be compromised without losing it. It’s absurd to deem it rational to give one’s property without a struggle to anyone daring to take it. If you do, they’ll be back.


When you don’t allow people to defend their property, it opens the doors to more crime, and only encourages it. Liberal thinking “oh, he only stole beer” excuses the thief, and entices them to larger crimes, as they suffer no punishment. Let me ask you this. If bank robbery only carried a monetary fine as punishment, and if you were allowed to pay that fine with the money you stole, do you think bank robberies would go up or down?


When the government limits the LEGAL means to deal with lawbreakers, then the ILLEGAL means become more and more appealing, i.e., “protection” people.

Gene Ralno

People all over the world are fed up with standing idle while nuts and felons waltz into their lives, harm their families, take what they want and stroll away unpursued. And the fact is all the data indicates that when people are encouraged to confront crime with armed resistance, it declines. We’re not talking about brain surgery. Just shoot the b*st*rds and they’ll find other ways to occupy their time.


or not have any more time to so occupy…….. which also works.

Jim S

So this is where this now goes. As long as the perp is stealing calmly, not touching anyone, fills up his or her arms with goods and walks away, you can do nothing? Im not advocating shooting people but what does a person do? Sit back, call police and wait? ITs all fine when its not your property, but how about you come home and someone is loading your tv, firearms and computer into their car. What do you do? Call the police, they might come over and take your information (the firearms would likely get them to do something… Read more »

Wild Bill

@jh45gun S and Gene R, We all have the right to use reasonable force. In Jim’s hypothetical, “the perp is stealing calmly, not touching anyone, fills up his or her arms with good s and walks away…” you can use reasonable force to stop the perp and even make a citizen’s arrest (sometimes called a private persons arrest). Killing them would probably be deemed unreasonable under those facts. But certainly one could think of action or technique that would be of reasonable force to stop the perp. If the perp escalates the force, you can escalate the force. You just… Read more »

Dave Eckart

So, as in this case, the perp gets outside and into a vehicle before the business owner can catch him, is supposed to just let him go because “deadly” force is “unjustified” due to the perp fleeing? What if the person was handicaped, should he/she just become an unwitting victim because he/she lacks the ability to defend against that action until the perp flees?

Jim Macklin

A couple of cellphone pictures of the thieves and car, hopefully with a tag number will allow the police to catch and arrest the guys that steal some cigarettes and/or beer. It is generally a major crime to shoot at a car. Anywhere from one to five years locked up and a felony record so you can’t own any firearms ever again. Your store should have insurance. Your home should have insurance. If somebody wants my old TV my insurance company will buy me a much newer [better] 55 inch flat screen to replace my old, obsolete TV. If I’m… Read more »

Dave Eckart

Jim, you need to review your insurance policy, most policies cover the current value and then there’s a deductible, and not everyone can afford “Cadillac” coverage that covers replacement value, nor do all companies provide that. Replacement value is typically only on the structure(s), not the contents, then there is still a deductible. Giving the police their license plate number, if you are able to get it, and the car wasn’t stolen, doesn’t get your stuff back. And even if the police do recover it, it might be damaged, or take years to get back, since it is evidence in… Read more »


Yes we have insurance, but don’t EVER forget… the premiums are based on the risk of loss actuarial tables. In areas where such theft is common, premiums are much higher, deductibles higher, etd…. i short, when the clowns steal from the shops, EVERYONE”S prices go up, because now ALL the stores in the area face higher premiums based on experienced risk. And WHO pays for that more expensive insurance? Yup… that’s YOU, baby. Some states allow use of lethal force to stop or apprehend a perpetrator caught in the progress of his crime, or in the fleeing after such a… Read more »

Gene Ralno

Ah, “reasonable” again. That’s a weasel word often used by those who cannot define a clear boundary between peril and safety. For my money, anyone who threatens life or property, armed or unarmed is perilous. One can never see what’s tucked in a perp’s belt or pocket. One can never know a perp’s level of intoxication. One can never know a perp’s strength, agility, talent or intent. Unless you can afford and are willing to simply stand idle while nuts and felons waltz into your life day after day, take what they want and stroll away unpursued, you must stop… Read more »

Jim Macklin

If I owned a gun store, I would hand out for free the State law on use of force. If I ran the school system, every 6th grade student through high school senior would be required to learn the State law on use of force. If I ran a TV station I’d run a public service announcement every hour and at every break in such shows as LAW & ORDER or MAGNUM PI to remind viewers that most of the displayed gun use on the TV shows are not legal. The big advantage of getting a CCW/CCH is that for… Read more »

Tom R.

While it’s sad the store owner lost merchandise from theft, there was absolutely no physical danger to him, therefore no right to use deadly force.


UNLESS…… are in Texas where use of deadly force is authorized: Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property: (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary: (A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after… Read more »


I’m glad I live in Texas!


Me too.

Jim Macklin

Note the weasel words in Section 9.42 (1) IF he would be justified …
to the degree he reasonably believes…

The jury will decide if you were reasonable

(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means;

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Gene Ralno

Poorly crafted laws are the citizen’s bane and the criminal’s lifeblood.

Mark Are

The store owner was a moron. Stealing beer doesn’t equal the death penalty, that is unless the thief does it in front of a cop and then refuses to do what the cop says. Then it’s OK. NOT! Minor misdemeanors shouldn’t’ end up in death in ANY case.


It should be a 2A right to take the law into your own hands without repercussions.

RM Molon Labe

And it should be a 1st A right…to have a BRAIN before commenting. Sad little waste of SKIN…


Yes, Gil is a unique hybrid animal; the mouth of a Sperm whale, the feet of an elephant, and the flexibility to insert all four feet into his mouth all at the same time.

RM Molon Labe

HA !!!


Pretty accurate summation of Gil and its exhaust…….