As reported, a masked and armed robber was shot in self defense by a store clerk:
Police say that two robbers, who were wearing masks, entered the Zeba Food Mart at 506 East 56th Street North in North Tulsa, OK. One of the robbers is said to have opened fire with a rifle, at which point an employee grabbed his own gun and fired in self defense. One robber was hit in the torso, and the other fled, leaving the store’s employee’s and bystanders unharmed. A suspect, reportedly identified as 14 year old Qualynn Dabney, is said to have died from his wounds, and police are seeking a second suspect.
In response to this self defense shooting, some individuals have been critical of the clerk who fired in self defense – due to the age of the robber who lost his life. To that, I would say a few things. Firstly, it is not reasonable to expect the clerk to endanger his own safety and the safety of innocent bystanders in order to try and preserve the life of a violent attacker. While it is sad that this young man’s life is over, just as any loss of life is sad, it is far better that the criminal suffer than his innocent victims. Secondly, while a 17 year old likely lacks the judgment of a 40 year old, they certainly know right from wrong, and are not immature children. Virtually every 17 year old who commits robbery does so with the understanding that their actions are illegal and dangerous, and cannot reasonably claim age as an excuse. Thirdly, second guessing a citizen who defends themselves is almost never proper, as I discuss here. Finally, even if -just for the sake of argument – the age of the robber were relevant, it would be unreasonable to expect the clerk to try and ascertain the robber’s age while dodging the robber’s bullets.