Shoplifters were making their escape from an Arizona Ace Hardware store, but with much conflict. Store employees had already caught on to their deceptiveness and soon attempted to stop them on their way out.
The shoplifters were able to make it to their vehicle and as they were driving away from the scene, a woman off-camera shot at the suspects. Unfortunately, the shot struck the store manager’s leg, who was still chasing the two men.
The woman, Nya Reyes, 46, was arrested and booked on charges of aggravated assault and discharging a firearm within city limits.
Attorney Benjamin Taylor, not affiliated with the case, stated she still had to use reasonable judgment under Arizona’s law to fire her weapon and make a citizen’s arrest. He further explains the police should have been called to handle the situation
“She really doesn’t have any right to make a citizen’s arrest because she was so far away from the scene,” Taylor said.
One of the main guidelines of firearm safety: know your target and what is beyond it. Do you want to be the hero of the day at the cost of not just innocent lives but your well-being? Not worth it, especially when the suspects are already fleeing and not posing an immediate harm to yourself. As Taylor stated, the police were better off handling the scene.
As for the manager, he likely believes it was not worth the chase on the shoplifters. As of now, he still has not returned to work and is awaiting physical therapy to hopefully regain the fullness to walk again.
Unless Ace Hardware has a policy to physically prevent shoplifting, the employees could found themselves in deeper trouble chasing them. They already have the surveillance on the suspects, so why risk your well-being for things that are ultimately replaceable? And for Reyes, she will probably think twice about saving the day if she even gets another chance.