Gun Control, Michigan — October 7, 2015 at 12:42 pm

UPDATED: Michigan, where shoplifting is a crime punishable by death (if an armed bystander decides it is)


A woman in Michigan this week decided that shoplifting was a crime punishable by death. She was in the parking lot of a busy Home Depot in Auburn Hills when she saw a security guard chasing someone out of the store. The fleeing person got into a vehicle and drove away. That’s when the woman took matters into her own hands:

[W]hen the SUV began to pull away, a 48-year-old woman suddenly began firing shots at the fleeing vehicle. The vehicle escaped – but possibly has a flat tire, McDonnell said.

The woman who fired the shots has a license to carry a firearm and is cooperating with police.

It’s not clear whether the woman would face charges in the incident.

The Home Depot, located on Joslyn, is part of a retail district with hundreds of stores in the area.

Here’s a Google satellite view of the parking lot where it all went down:

Pretty busy place as Home Depot tends to be.

When gun rights activists tell us we need more guns in society, they generally talk about self-defense. Rarely do we hear them talk about how a concealed pistol license (CPL) gives a person the authority to make a snap determination that someone needs to die for an alleged crime before the alleged perpetrator is given due process. In this instance, the woman didn’t even know what the crime was. She only knew it was time to kill the person she figured had committed it.

Hopefully she is “cooperating with police” handcuffed in a jail cell facing criminal charges.

UPDATE: Police now confirm that the woman who fired the shots was not in any way personally threatened by the alleged shoplifter.

Police confirmed on Wednesday that a concealed pistol license (CPL) holder was not being threatened by a fleeing shoplifter when she decided to fire multiple shots at him in a Home Depot parking lot.

And experts interviewed Wednesday doubted the shooting could have been justified.

A couple of choice bits from the Detroit Free Press piece:

“It’s my worst nightmare as a CPL instructor,” said Doreen Hankins, owner of Detroit Arms, which holds CPL classes. “You have to know the entire situation before you pull that handgun out. And I don’t see that a shoplifter at Home Depot fills any of those criteria.” […]

Hankins, the owner of Detroit Arms, said of the shooting, “None of it makes sense. Even if it were law enforcement, they wouldn’t do that.”

She added, speaking of CPL holders: “You are not a police officer. You are not a person out there protecting the public at large.”


To use a concealed weapon in Michigan, a CPL holder needs to think that there is an imminent danger of death, great bodily harm or sexual assault, or think there is a similar danger to someone else, said Rick Ector, a firearms trainer who runs Legally Armed Detroit. He added that a gun is “truly a tool of last resort.”

“In that situation personally, there’s no way I would be shooting my gun,” said another instructor, Dawn Martin, with the Kalamazoo-based Viper Security Enforcement Inc.

[Peace Monument photo credit: Anne Savage, special to Eclectablog]