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Retired cop arrested at Home Depot after shooting a shoplifting suspect, CA police say

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A retired police officer was at a Home Depot in southern California when another man ignored orders from store security, Riverside Police said, according to the Press-Enterprise.

Police believe the man had unpaid items with him when he walked out, NBCLA reported. That was at about 4:10 p.m. Saturday.

While security was trying to stop the shoplifting suspect, the former cop announced he was a retired officer and pulled out his handgun, Riverside Police Department Officer Ryan Railsback said, according to KTLA.

The retired officer commanded the suspect to stop, but the man did not listen, police said, according to CBSLA.

“He continued to walk with the stolen items and got into his car,” the Press-Enterprise reported. “That is when authorities believe the former officer pulled out a handgun and shot into the vehicle twice.”

One of the shots grazed the accused shoplifter’s neck, CBSLA reported.

The man who was shot then drove himself to a medical clinic, and staff called police, CBSLA reported. Meanwhile, the shooter stayed at the Home Depot, KTLA reported.

Police were called to the store at about 4:30 p.m., the Press-Enterprise reported, and the retired officer was cooperative, police said.

“Investigators determined the shooting did not appear to be justified and arrested the retired officer on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Railsback said,” according to KTLA.

Police said the shoplifting suspect will likely be cited for theft, NBCLA reported, and did not have life-threatening injuries.

The retired officer’s name has not been released.

What some call the “castle doctrine” is ensconced in the law: If someone breaks or is breaking into your home, you can shoot them, legally, as long as you “reasonably” believe such force is required to stop the “unlawful entry into or attack upon

Kaitlyn Alanis is based out of Kansas and reports on news from across the Midwest region. She has been at The Wichita Eagle since 2017.
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