“He Could Have Called 911.”
From: bearingarms.com, by Bob Owens, on June 17, 2015, see the article HERE.
Here’s the original story, published on June 16, 2015
A female Knoxville convenience store clerk is very lucky that her male friend was at the right place at the right time. The man was sitting in his parked vehicle when he noticed an armed robber force the clerk behind the counter at gunpoint. The male friend retrieved his own handgun from his vehicle and quickly ended the threat:
Officers responded to the Breadbox located on the 6200 block of Asheville Highway around 2:35 a.m after receiving a call that shots had been fired.
When officials arrived, they found Tamon J. Stapleton, 18, dead with a gunshot wound. Police say Stapleton, armed with a 9mm handgun, had entered the store and was forcing the female clerk behind the counter at gunpoint.
A male friend of the clerk, who was outside the store in his parked vehicle, witnessed the attempted robbery, retrieved his handgun, entered the store and fired one shot, hitting Stapleton.
The most surprising part of the article?
Local news media seemed stunned that it is perfectly legal to defend the life of a third party without being a sworn law enforcement officer.
WATE 6 On Your Side wanted to find out if that was legal so we reached out to Knox County’s top prosecutor.
“The law in Tennessee as to third party is basically the same as it is to any individual in self defense,” said Knox County District Attorney General Charme P. Allen. “If you walk upon a stranger and you think that stranger is fixing to be hurt, then you can act on behalf of that strange.”
Knoxville police said no other injuries were reported. Officers say the friend will not face any charges because he was acting to protect another citizen. The gun Stapleton used is believed to be stolen and its serial number had been removed.
In case you were wondering, no, WATE 6 isn’t the only media outlet that seemed flustered by the lack of charges, and who felt compelled to reach out to an expert to explain self defense law.
Here’s more from WBIR:
No charges will be filed against the man who shot and killed an armed robber early Monday at an East Knoxville convenience store because he was “protecting another citizen and his own life,” according to the Knoxville Police Department.
A Knoxville attorney said because the act was one of defense the law protects the shooter.
“You are allowed to defend yourself with both reasonable and necessary force, and the defense of another is appropriate should somebody else that you’re with or acquainted with also be placed in similar danger,” Don Bosch said.
Many, many moons ago when we took notes in our college journalism classes by pressing a stylus into clay tablets, we took media law classes that focused on libel and ethics. Since modern journalism schools have clearly given up on the concept of teaching ethics, perhaps they should instead spend some time discussing firearms and self-defense laws so they don’t come across as such clueless rubes.
And here’s the next day follow-up describing the mother’s complaints
We told you yesterday about the third-party self-defense shooting at a Knoxville, TN convenience store.
18-year-old armed robber Tamon J. Stapleton stormed into the the Breadbox and forced the female employee behind the counter and towards the register at 2:30 AM with a gun to her head. One of the employee’s male friends happened to be in his car in front of the Breadbox. He retrieved his legally-owned pistol from his car and ran into the store, firing a single shot that struck Stapleton in the head, killing him.
Believe it or not, Stapleton’s mother Joy is now demanding homicide charges be filed against the man who defended the clerk from her violent thug of a son:
The teen just graduated from Austin-East High School. From his mother’s point of view, things were getting better.
“I don’t care what they say about Tamon’s juvenile charges, the past is the past,” said Stapleton.
She plans to fight for charges against the shooter, but police say the case is closed.
“If the store clerk would have killed him I would have felt different,” said Stapleton. “But because that man came into the store and killed him as he watched this robbery go on…he was not in danger. He could have dialed 911 and then went in to the store. But he didn’t, he just automatically went into the store and shot my son in the head.”
No, Joy. That’s not how any of this works.
The article makes very clear that Tamon (and presumably his accomplice, Pumbaa) had a very long and violent juvenile criminal record, starting with six arrests as a 14-year-old. He didn’t even learn anything after being shot previously in 2014.
The problem, Joy, is that your son was a danger to society for a very long time.
The problem, Joy, is that your son was a violent human predator on a fast track to murdering someone.
The problem, Joy, is that you are part of a culture that fails to raise your children with any respect for civility, decency, or hard work.
Do you want to find the culprit in your son’s death, Joy Stapleton?
Find a mirror, and stare at it very hard.
Here are another couple of tidbits of information:
1) According to Knoxville PD, the serial number from Tamon Stapleton’s 9mm pistol had been removed, and police are checking to see if they can determine the owner. Now let’s see, what are the chances that Tamon bought the 9mm from a legal gun dealer, completed the appropriate background check, was approved and the dealer delivered a gun with an obliterated serial number?
We all know that Tamon got his gun illegally and NO new gun laws would have prevented his acquisition of a “tool of his trade.” It’s also my understanding that possession of a handgun with a defaced serial number is a felony. So Tamon was already a felon even before he attempted an armed robbery.
2) There was another attempt to rob a different Breadbox convenience store earlier that same day by another “Armed Robber of Color.” Psalms Bailey, 22, was more fortunate than Tamon. He got away unscathed, but was apprehended later with money and cigarettes stolen in the robbery still in his possession. There was also a video record of his armed robbery verifying his identification.
Police say that the two armed robberies of different Breadbox stores were not related (except that they were both executed by “Armed Robbers of Color.”