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US: Store clerk shoots customer who refused to wear mask, kills self

The incident in Las Vegas happened four days before Covid-19 mask mandate was lifted in Nevada



File photo
File photo

By AP

Published: Sat 19 Feb 2022, 3:42 AM

Police in Las Vegas say a convenience store clerk killed himself earlier this month just minutes after he shot a customer who refused to wear a mask and walked out without paying for three bags of chips

A convenience store clerk who killed himself minutes after he shot a customer who refused to wear a mask and walked out without paying for three bags of chips earlier this month would have faced criminal charges if he had survived, a police report says.

The February 6 shootings on the northwest edge of Las Vegas came four days before Gov. Steve Sisolak lifted Nevada’s Covid-19 mask mandate.

The 36-year-old cashier at the Terrible’s gas station/store was pronounced dead at the scene because of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, police said.

The 26-year-old customer’s ex-girlfriend took him to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder and later released, police said.

Officers interviewed him at the hospital, and a witness at the scene corroborated his account of the incident.

Police were called to the scene at West Centennial Center Boulevard near US Highway 95 at about 8.30am.

Detectives recovered the Glock handgun used in both shootings and four shell casings, and they reviewed surveillance video before filing the report on February 9 detailing the chain of events.

“Due to the facts and circumstances learned at the time of the incident, (the clerk) would have been charged if he survived with battery with (use of a deadly weapon),” the report said.

KLAS-TV first reported on the incident Thursday. The Associated Press obtained a redacted copy of the police report through a public records request.

Police say the clerk yelled at the customer to put on a mask or leave the store, but he refused and placed three bags of chips on the counter. The clerk refused to serve the man, who then walked outside with the chips without paying.

The clerk followed him outside and started recording him with his cellphone camera. The customer became upset, advanced toward the clerk and “a struggle quickly ensued”.

“Once the physical fight was broken up,” the clerk pulled a handgun from his pocket and fired three rounds at the victim, striking him once in the shoulder, the report said.

The victim ran to a tyre store next door and was picked up by his ex-girlfriend in a van.

The clerk made a call on his cellphone and began arguing with someone on the line. Moments later he turned the handgun on himself, firing one round to the right side of his head, police said.

The officer wrote in the report that when he arrived on the scene, the man was still holding the handgun in one hand and cellphone in the other, lying on his back with no pulse and blood coming from his head.


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