Those filling up on gas or grabbing a snack at a QuikTrip gas station and convenience store in Charlotte, North Carolina, got far more than they bargained for when, on Wednesday at about 10:30 in the morning, one customer had to use a firearm to defend himself from an alleged robber.
Apparently, the situation began when a larceny was reported and the alleged robber drove away shortly after firing a round into the air when responding officers arrived to deal with the larceny. No one was injured by the round, fortunately,
However, the alleged robber didn’t use the chaos caused by the round to make good on his escape and flee from law enforcement. Instead, he circled back around and darted toward a customer at the QuikTrip who was pumping gas.
That customer and the gun-toting robber then got into a heated argument and the customer eventually drew a firearm he was carrying and shot the larceny suspect dead at the gas pump. The name of the shot individual was David Joseph Leonhardt. He was 32 at the time of his death.
Describing the shooting, Hakim Simmons, a volunteer firefighter, said, “We were washing the truck. Nothing out of the norm. We hear one singular bang, which we thought was a gun. We kind of all kind of scattered because we weren’t sure exactly what was happening.”
The shooter has not been charged so far and the police are apparently not seeking charges in the case. WBTV, reporting on the law enforcement aspect of the case, said, “CMPD took the man into custody and said he is cooperating with investigators. On Thursday, the CMPD said detectives with its homicide unit are not looking for any suspects in the case and no charges are being sought at this time.“
North Carolina, like many red states and in fitting with southern culture, has relatively permissive self-defense laws. Describing them, a state law firm said, “Under the Stand Your Ground Laws in North Carolina, the use of force is authorized in the defense of self or others if reasonable. Furthermore, the victim of aggression in certain circumstances is not required to “retreat.” You may, quite literally, “Stand Your Ground.” Deadly force may also be used in protecting your household. Criminal defense lawyers in Raleigh sometimes refer to that as the Castle Doctrine.”
Here, the robber was almost certainly still armed, as he had only moments previously fired a round into the air before fleeing from the scene and then returning to the QuikTrip. Further, the argument shows that something was going on that could have made the shooter reasonably think he needed to use deadly force to protect himself.
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