Store clerk arrested in fatal shooting of suspected shoplifter

The owner of a Spanaway convenience store who shot and killed a shoplifting suspect on Friday night has been arrested on second degree murder charges.

For Min Kim, the sound of the song Fur Elise means someone is coming through the doors of his convenience store in Spanaway.

And even today that song makes him a little nervous.

"I am scared. I'm scared of everybody who is walking actually right now. Whoever just walks by I am frightened,” he said.

Last month at his store someone shot his wife in the stomach in an attempted robbery, and just over the weekend, a different young man came in to shoplift.

"As soon as I see him I pulled out my gun out and he stopped everything and he raised both hands. As soon as I see he is no threat I put my pistol back,” he said.

But the incident wasn't over.

Pierce County Sheriff's Deputies say what happened next should not have happened at all.

"Our store clerk would've been just fine if he would've let him go and called 911,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer.

But he didn't.

"I grabbed him by his jacket. Do not leave here so I can have some moments to call the cops and everything,” said Min Kim.

"As the suspect was leaving the store, the store clerk pulled a weapon out and shot him twice and those rounds were responsible for killing him,” said Troyer.

The incident was captured on store surveillance, which is not being released.

"It shows that I killed a man and that's something that I don't want to see again and again,” said Kim.

While Kim claims he shot the young man in self defense, police say Kim's response doesn't fit the crime of shoplifting.   

"We understand that what was taken was pepperoni and cigarettes, nothing that definitely equals pulling out a gun and firing rounds or worth a life,” said Troyer.

Shortly after the interview with KING 5, Min Kim was arrested and was booked on second degree murder charges.

"This is a tough one because we can understand why the store clerk was on guard. His wife has just been shot there a month before during a robbery attempt and the whole family was upset about it. But that doesn’t give you the license and the right to arm yourself and shoot people who may be involved in shoplifting,” said Troyer.
 

 

Copyright 2016 KING


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