The Store Owner Will Have to Pay for Shooting a Teenager Who Was Suspected of Shoplifting

A store owner who is facing m*rder charges after shooting a teenager he mistakenly thought stole water has shot at two other suspected shoplifters twice in the past eight years and has not been arr*sted either time.

Richland County sheriff’s officers said that in 2018, Rick Chow was attacked by a shoplifter after confronting the man at his Xpress Mart Shell station in Columbia. According to the investigation, Chow fired two shots, one of which hit the man in the leg. The defendant entered a guilty plea.

Chow allegedly threatened to shoot Chow with a gun and fired several bullets at a vehicle in 2015 after he tried to stop a suspect he believed to be shoplifting. Nobody got wounded. Chow’s activities were deemed legal in both instances.

In order to claim self-defense under South Carolina law, the shooter must not have started the fight, be in fear for his life, and be helpless to stop the att@cker. On Sunday, deputies said they had evidence that Chow and his son had chased a 14-year-old away from the store and shot and m*rdered him.

The below tweet verifies the news:

Chow has been arrested for m*rder. Prosecutors have indicated that they will consider filing additional charges against either Chow or his son after the inquiry is complete and police deliver their findings.

Cyrus Carmack-Belton, who is Black, was suspected by Chow to have stolen four bottles of water, but surveillance footage from the store showed that he had actually returned them to the refrigerator. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that Carmack-Belton was slain as he fled the store premises following an argument.

Lott stated that a gun was located near the adolescent’s body and that Chow’s son had informed his father that Carmack-Belton was armed after the teen had fallen while running. The sheriff, though, claimed there was no proof the youngster had threatened Chow or his son with the we@pon.

The sheriff’s office did not make any further comments on the other two gunshot events. They said that in the previous five years, deputies have responded to hundreds of calls about criminal activity at Chow’s store in suburban northeast Richland County, including assaults, shoplifting, personal theft, motor vehicle theft, vandalism, robberies, and burglaries.

Authorities have stated that they are working to compile police reports from those occurrences in response to open records requests from various media sites. Chow, 58, is currently detained in the Richland County jail for a bond hearing.

The Store Owner Will Have to Pay for Shooting a Teenager (1)

His attorney has stated that he will not be discussing the matter further. If found guilty of m*rder, Chow may spend the rest of his life in prison. Lott claimed that despite Chow’s legal gun ownership, there was no evidence from eyewitnesses or security footage that he feared for his life.

“You don’t shoot somebody in the back that is not a threat to you,” the sheriff said. After the massacre, the African-American community in Richland County, where Black people make up over half of the population, was devastated.

Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn, the state’s only Black congressman, said on Friday that the Carmack-Belton family should be celebrating his graduation from eighth grade and his entrance into high school on Saturday instead than mourning him.

“The criminalization of Black men and boys and the historic trend of painting them as aggressors have time and again led to de@dly and heartbreaking circumstances,” Clyburn said in a statement. “Carmack-Belton has since been declared innocent, but his supposed crime of shoplifting a bottle of water should not have cost him his life. I pray justice is swift.”

You can learn more about the attacks by clicking on the following links, which we have provided for you:

According to the official documents, Chow is of Asian descent. A placard reading “Justice for King Cyrus” and a collection of balloons, flowers, and water bottles have been left at the scene of the teen’s accident.

On Monday, dozens of people held a peaceful vigil outside the store by dumping water on the ground and forming the word “Cyrus” with the empty bottles. A placard reading “Water or Life?” was attached to the store’s shut door. “Which has more significance?

A different group, however, allegedly shattered windows, spray-painted “Cyrus” and “14,” and began stealing beer, cigarettes, and other products after dark, according to the deputies. Looters, as Lott dubbed them, will be prosecuted, he declared.

All of the gas stations has been cordoned off with yellow police tape. The parking area was outfitted with a mobile surveillance equipment equipped with cameras by the deputies. There’s a placard for justice for Cyrus propped up next to the gas price sign.

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