Dallas, TX

Family Dollar Store Customer Facing Murder Charge for Shooting Unarmed Robber

Larry Lease

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A Dallas man is charged with murder for shooting and killing an unarmed robber he believed was attacking two dollar store employees.Photo byScott Rodgerson/UnsplashonUnsplash

A Dallas man is facing charges of murder for shooting and killing an unarmed robber he believed was attacking two dollar store employees. Fox 4 reports that the shooter stayed and spoke with the police. The man was identified as 47-year-old Kevin Jackson and was legally carrying the gun he used to kill Phillip Betts inside the Family Dollar store in Oak Cliff. Jackson told police he was worried about the safety of the two employees.

The murder charge is causing many to question when it is appropriate to step in and use deadly force. Fox 4 reports that a female assistant manager recognized Betts as a frequent shoplifter. The female manager told Betts to leave and return the stolen merchandise from his coat. Betts attempted to leave but the manager took his backpack. Fox 4 reports that the affidavit stated that Betts stepped outside but returned and struck the female multiple times with his fists. Another female employee stepped in and sprayed Betts with mace, attempting to get him to leave.

Jackson is not connected to anyone involved and only walked in and noticed the fight. He watched for the moment, police say he pulled out his gun, and fired a single shot, killing Betts. Robert Rogers is a former prosecutor and now criminal defense attorney has argued in support of the legality of Jackson shooting Betts. Jackson told Fox 4:

"Just from looking at it, this guy was going about his business at the store and saw something that alarmed him, and he took action based on something that he really perceived was necessary at that time," "Based on the facts as I read them in this affidavit, I believe that’s a clear robbery where the person is starting to use force to enable him to complete the offense of theft."

Jackson told police he was concerned for the safety of the two women and aimed for Betts' leg. Now it's going to be up to a grand jury to decide whether they believe self-defense applies or even if there's probable cause.

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I specialize in crime, entertainment and political stories. I have spent eight years as a freelance writer and journalist.

Dallas, TX
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