Officials said Thursday that a man accused of murdering a California gas station clerk during a “botched” robbery will not be charged with murder because the victim fired on the suspect even though his life was not in danger.
According to Fox San Francisco, James Williams, 36, was killed in a shootout with Ronald Jackson Jr., 20, early on Saturday morning at a Chevron in Antioch.
According to the Antioch Police Department, soon after two in the morning, a petrol station clerk called to report that someone had been shot inside the Extra Mile mini-mart. When the police came, they discovered a man inside the shop who had been shot in the head.
Police said in a statement that they were able to identify the victim as a service station employee clerk who had been held up at gunpoint in what appeared to be a “botched robbery.”
No words for this. This is as blatant a declaration of open season for criminals to prey on the public. It is your patriotic duty to be victimized.https://t.co/9ZtIXTa6Ja
— Agent Max Remington, Republic Loyalist (@Edward_Chang_8) December 2, 2022
When two suspects confronted Williams while he was inside the business working, one of them was Jackson, who was allegedly carrying a gun. Then Williams retrieved his own weapon.
Jackson allegedly dropped cigar packets as he raced out of the business and was then shot. Jackson allegedly murdered Williams by firing back, according to the news source, as Jackson lay on the ground and Williams continued to fire.
Williams’ girlfriend and coworker Annette Matamoroz, who was present in the store at the time of his death, told the news organization that Williams “didn’t deserve this” and that he was a decent man and a family man.
Jackson was not prosecuted for murder because, according to the authorities, the killing might have qualified as self-defense under the law. Williams pursued Jackson despite the fact that the threat of harm or injury to persons had decreased, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.
In a news release, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton stated that Mr. Williams’ conduct “ceased to be self-defense in the eyes of the law when Mr. Williams pursued Mr. Jackson and the other suspect with a pistol — and continued to pursue Mr. Jackson after he shot him.”
“The legal distinction is clear: a person is lawfully justified in using deadly force in self-defense when their property and life are at danger,” she continued. But the victim of a property crime cannot employ deadly force to recover stolen property after the threat of harm has passed.
The district attorney’s office received the information from the Antioch investigators, but “decided to prosecute Jackson with robbery, possession of the stolen property, and a firearm enhancement, but rejected to charge him with murder,” according to the police.
The Antioch Police Department issued a statement expressing its sympathies to Mr. Williams’ family and friends.