Store Owner Charged With Killing a Teen Shot at People He Suspected of Shoplifting Before

3 months ago 31

COLUMBIA, S.C.—A store proprietor successful South Carolina charged with execution aft shooting a teen helium wrongly thought stole h2o has changeable astatine suspected shoplifters 2 different times successful the past 8 years and not faced charges, authorities said.

In 2018, Rick Chow confronted a shoplifter astatine his Xpress Mart Shell presumption successful Columbia and the antheral attacked him, Richland County deputies said. Chow fired 2 shots and the antheral was wounded successful the leg, investigators said. The antheral pleaded blameworthy to charges successful the case.

In 2015, Chow fired respective shots astatine a conveyance aft helium tried to halt idiosyncratic helium suspected of shoplifting, and the fishy got into the conveyance and threatened to sprout Chow, deputies said. No 1 was hurt.

In some cases, authorities said Chow’s actions were not criminal. Self-defense instrumentality successful South Carolina requires the shooter doesn’t instigate the incident, believes helium is successful imminent information and has nary mode to debar that danger.

Deputies decided that was not the lawsuit connected May 28, erstwhile they said Chow and his lad chased a 14-year-old from his store and killed him with 1 changeable to the back. Chow is charged with murder. Prosecutors said erstwhile the probe is finished and constabulary contiguous their findings, they volition see further charges against Chow oregon his son.

Xpress Mart Rick Chow’s Xpress Mart convenience store successful Columbia, S.C., connected May 30, 2023. (Jeffrey Collins/AP Photo)

Chow thought the lad had shoplifted 4 bottles of water, but investigators said store video shows Cyrus Carmack-Belton enactment the bottles backmost successful the cooler. After an argument, Carmack-Belton ran disconnected the store spot and was inactive moving distant erstwhile helium was killed, Sheriff Leon Lott said.

A weapon was recovered adjacent the teen’s body, and Chow’s lad told his begetter that Carmack-Belton was equipped aft the younker fell arsenic helium ran, Lott said. But the sheriff said determination was nary grounds the lad ever pointed the limb astatine Chow oregon his son.

The sheriff’s section didn’t merchandise further accusation astir the 2 different shooting incidents. They said deputies person been called to Chow’s store successful suburban northeast Richland County hundreds of times implicit the past 5 years for assaults, shoplifting, idiosyncratic theft, centrifugal conveyance theft, vandalism, robbery, and burglary.

A fig of media outlets person made unfastened records requests for constabulary reports from those incidents, and authorities accidental they are moving to stitchery them.

Chow, 58, is awaiting a enslaved proceeding astatine the Richland County jail. His lawyer has said helium is not talking astir the lawsuit astatine this time. Chow faces 30 years to beingness successful situation if convicted of murder.

Chow owned the weapon legally, but witnesses and surveillance video provided nary grounds that helium was successful fearfulness of his life, Lott said.