Clerk accused of shooting teen in store over alleged cookie theft

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Kansas City, MO — Officers are investigating a shooting at a convenience store in Kansas City that may have been triggered by the theft of cookies.

Witnesses say an employee shot a 16-year-old in the back of his leg while in the store when the teen tried to steal a bag of cookies. They say he was running from the store when he collapsed. Several people from nearby businesses rushed in to help stop the bleeding when they heard the teen screaming.

“He was screaming ‘I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die’ so for me to calm him down I said ‘Calm down bro, just talk to me. What happened?’ And he said, ‘They said I tried to steal a pack of cookies.’ I said, ‘Well did you steal the cookies?’ and he pulled them out his pocket,” said Calvin Williamson, the owner of a tire shop across the street.

Williamson said they tied off his leg wound with a belt until emergency crews arrived.

Raheem Malik owns Mo’s Italian Spot, a family-run restaurant just down the street from where the shooting happened. He said the area is filled with people who are struggling.

“I get people that come in here all the time and say, you know, ‘Can I get something to eat?’ and I know if I give all my food away, I won’t be in business long, but I have to take it case-by-case,” he said.

Malik’s step-son says the shooting victim was one of those people.

“He lives with his mama and they struggle and he comes down here to our restaurant and asks us for water and we give it to him,” Markeese Fluker said. “He didn’t never steal from us. He asked us for food and stuff and we’d give him a bread stick or what we could give him, you know, because he’s hungry.”

Police loaded the clerk into a transport wagon in handcuffs. Initially he was only being held for questioning, but the employee was later arrested.

The business owners in the area understand the frustration with trying to make a living when so many are begging or straight-out taking, but they think this situation should have been handled differently.

“I’m definitely not going to shoot them because their life is worth more than whatever I got in here to sell,” Malik said.

A friend of the store owner said the owner is now flying in from out of town. He said shoplifting is a constant problem at the store, but the owner would not condone shooting someone over it.

A detective said that the teen is recovering well and will be fine.

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  • hellomurica

    Sorry, that is NOT a defensive use with a gun. Not justifiable. You do NOT shoot unless someone’s life is being threatened. Period. The shooter here was wrong, and he’s just screwed himself. He’ll be looking at a lengthy jail sentence.

  • Kathy Fritsch

    Well the good thing was he (the thief) will be fine. But I will bet he has learned to quit stealing cookies! If he is hungry why not go to his church, his neighbors, his food bank, his local mission, his friends or relatives. Or he could just short circuit all that & go down and jack some cookies from the local market. His choice.

  • Rainmetal

    Dumb move on the clerks part. Over a bag of cookies? The appropriate response would have been to file a report, or letting it go as the cost of business in your neighborhood. It was a bag of cookies, and the kid did not threaten anyone in the process. IF the juvenile had threatened to harm the clerk or any other patrons, that may have been a different story. I hope the juvenile learned his lesson though. Stealing is pretty stupid too.

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  • The World is Ending

    The clerk will probably go to jail and the kid (or his family he is under 18) will get tons of money in a lawsuit, because as a civilian under no circumstances can you shoot someone in the back.

  • today was a good day

    WOW! this is shocking! There is times where some people are so sunk in debt or whatever the problem is for not being able to provide to the family. Maybe it wasn’t this kids idea to do it but hunger might just trigger a stupid mistake. Alot of people that steal food are hungry and maybe they don’t have the correct information for resources. Maybe the parents are drug addicts and neglect these kids that get caught shoplifting, maybe these kids are being abused at home and rather stay in the streets! some people just don’t thinkg about those posibilities and make stupid choices like shooting someone over a bag of cookies! I pray this boy is ok and hope that whatever he is or was going thru will get better. I understand that not all thieves have issues like these and they steal to buy drugs but like it was said, sometimes these type of things need to be treated case by case. Never shoot anyone over food! meterialistic things can always be replaced but a life will be lost forever.

  • Glen

    That clerk is an idiot!! I’m all for protecting yourself or others, but to shoot a kid over cookies???? Sorry; really, really bad call.