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‘His actions were not lawful:’ Spanaway clerk charged with second-degree murder of would-be shoplifter

Min Sik Kim

SPANAWAY, Wash. – Prosecutors say surveillance video of a shooting at a Spanaway convenience store Friday shows the clerk held a would-be shoplifter at gunpoint, punched him in the face, then shot him twice in the back as he attempted to run away.

Min Sik Kim was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Jakeel Rashon Mason.

“The defendant’s frustrations are understandable, but his actions were not lawful,” Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a press release. “Shop owners cannot legally shoot unarmed shoplifters attempting to flee.”

Kim’s wife was shot in February when she was working as a clerk at the same store. She shot back at the alleged would-be robber, and both survived. The family has owned the store for about eight months.

Prosecutors said the latest incident began when Kim went outside to tell a group of loitering men to leave. They said video shows Mason using the opportunity to go inside and attempt to steal cigarettes from behind the counter.

They said Kim went back in, pulled a pistol from his waistband, and held Mason at gunpoint. Video allegedly shows Mason putting his hands up as Kim back him into a shelf and punched him in the face.

At that point, prosecutors say, the two struggled and Mason ran for the door, stopped to pick up a pack of cigarettes. Video allegedly shows Kim shooting Mason twice in the back and Mason collapsing in the doorway.

Kim talked to Q13 News about the incident on Monday.

“He was keep reaching for my gun and I was really afraid,” Kim said.

Kim was due to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.