Store Worker Accused of Shooting Shoplifter

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(Memphis) A South Memphis convenience store worker is charged with aggravated assault for shooting an alleged shoplifter. It happened Friday at the King of Discount Food Mart on Vance Avenue.

Some workers there say the victim 'had it coming' because he was belligerent, irate and kept coming back in the store to steal stuff.

“I feel sorry for what he got, but I think he deserved it,” said David Azizlodowdi, working behind the cash register.

Azizlodowdi wasn't there when it happened but co-worker Ronald Parker was.

“I was looking around to see if I had been shot,” said Parker.

Police say their co-worker, Walid Al Kabsh, shot a man. Store employees say the man stole from their store twice in just a few minutes. The first time, they say Kabsh caught him stealing milk and confronted him outside.

“He went and got the milk out of his back pocket and told him to go ahead on,” said Parker.

But police say the guy came back in the store again, stealing a handful of chips, running for the door and putting up a big fight when the store worker tried to stop him again.

“When I saw the guy reaching for his pocket, that's when I grabbed him and wrestled him down to the ground,” said Parker.

Just seconds after that that, Parker heard a gun shot. Police say Kabsh shot the man in the leg and even though the victim might have been stealing, Kabsh is the one charged with a crime: aggravated assault, something his co-workers and some customers don't agree with.

“I work here. I make my bread here. I have to protect the place and protect myself,” said Azizlodowdi.

“I think you should have the right to protect your store,” said customer Terrance Blanche.  “If I had a store, I would want the right to protect it, just like I protect my home.”

Others in the South Memphis neighborhood have a different view about what happened.

“You think he deserved to be shot for trying to steal something to eat?” said one man.

Workers at the King of Discount Food Mart say the shoplifter wasn’t hungry, just up to no good.

“He came with money, you know. He was shopping and stealing at the same time,” said Azizlodowdi. “Makes no sense.”

The shoplifter was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to his left calf. He hasn't yet been charged with a crime.

Kabsh is out of jail on a $10,000 bond.