An Indiana gas station clerk chased a shoplifter into the parking lot and shot him in the face, Indianapolis police told local news outlets.
Vincent Bibbs, a 49-year-old Speedway convenience store clerk, has been charged with murder, WISH reported.
Before midnight on June 29, Bibbs confronted Damon McClain, 49, after he spotted him putting four packs of Red Bull in a garbage bag and heading out the door without paying, the TV station reported.
Instead of letting McClain leave with the energy drinks, Bibbs follows after him, the Indianapolis Star reported. One witness told police he heard Bibbs talking to McClain, saying “just give it back, just give it back.”
Witnesses saw McClain get into a car and tried to drive away, but Bibbs pulled out a 9mm handgun, ran up to the driver-side window and fired a shot, the Star reported.
The bullet struck McClain in the head.
Bibbs went back inside the store, helped two customers, and then called police, WISH reported.
When police arrived at the gas station, they found McClain dead in the car, according to the Indianapolis Star. At the scene, officers also found several four packs of Red Bull, a 9mm pistol and a spent bullet casing of the same caliber.
“We value life over property. So, no one’s life is worth four Red Bulls,” a lawyer, who isn’t connected to the case, told WXIN, explaining Bibbs’ legal situation.
“In the state of Indiana, you cannot use deadly force to stop someone from stealing property,” the lawyer said, adding that deadly force is only applicable in very limited circumstances.
“The law is pretty clear, but we have to look through the eyes of the store clerk. What was he thinking at the time he confronted the shoplifter,” they told WXIN. “Was he trying to stop the shoplifter just because he was stealing Red Bulls, or was he in fear for his life?”
According to the Star, while Bibbs initially denied he had any role in the shooting, he later admitted to police that he aimed the gun at McClain and it just “went off.”
Bibbs has also been charged with carrying a handgun without a license, WISH reported.