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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – – A busy grocery store parking lot became the scene of a deadly shooting Monday. Police say several men with guns came up to a man at the Kroger gas station on Poplar near Kirby and tried to take his white Mercedes SUV. Investigators say the Mercedes’ owner then grabbed his own gun and shot two of the armed men, killing one of them.

A friend of the person who died claims he was a 16-year-old boy. That friend doesn’t want to be identified.

“One of my best friends,” he said, “He play football, play basketball.” 

One of his other friends, who also doesn’t want to be identified, says the teen often played with the wrong crowd and Monday, it cost him his life.

“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time making wrong decisions,” the friend said, “He got a good heart but it’s like the streets, it’s like a poison to you, you know?”

The second man who was shot is expected to survive but investigators haven’t said what happened to the other men who allegedly tried to steal the Mercedes.

Police say the vehicle owner who opened fire wasn’t hurt. It’s currently unclear if he’ll face any charges. WREG has learned he’s being represented by prominent Memphis attorney Leslie Ballin.

The 16-year-old’s friends believe the man used too much force.

“Not just up and necessarily take a life over a vehicle that you could have potentially got back if it was found,” one friend said.

Many customers we talked with place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the alleged carjackers and believe the vehicle owner is simply a victim who was trying to defend himself.

Kroger released this statement:

We are saddened by today’s incident. We’re grateful to our store associates and customers who quickly notified local authorities, and we are providing any support needed for the investigation.

Teresa Dickerson

This is a developing story.