INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis store worker accused of killing a suspected shoplifter has been arrested for murder.
Court records now shed new light on what led to the fatal shooting.
According to the probable cause affidavit, at least three people witnessed the fatal shooting at the Speedway gas station and identified the clerk as the shooter.
After chasing a shoplifter outside on Tuesday night, police say the store clerk was heard shouting “Give it back … Give it back” to a man stealing a bag of merchandise.
The affidavit alleges that the clerk, Vincent Bibbs, then fired a shot, killing the suspected thief.
“In the state of Indiana, you can’t use lethal force to stop someone from stealing property,” attorney Mario Massillamany said.
This is why police arrested Bibbs for murder, even though they believe Damon McClain, 49, got in his car and attempted to walk away with several stolen 4-packs of Red Bulls.
“We favor life over property. So no one’s life is worth four Red Bulls, ”said Massillamany.
Lawyer Massillamany is unrelated to the case but says the shooting cannot be justified and the suspect can only claim self-defense if he fears for his life.
“The law is pretty clear, but we have to look through the eyes of the store clerk. What was he thinking when he confronted the shoplifter, ”Massillamany said. “In that split second, what was the clerk thinking?” Was he trying to stop the shoplifter just because he was stealing from the Red Bulls, or was he afraid for his life?
Police say Bibbs initially denied participating in the shooting, but later confessed to shooting the victim in the face before returning to the store where he waited for police to arrive.
The suspect remains behind bars at the Marion County Jail where he is being held without bail. He is due in court next week. Prosecutors have yet to file formal charges in the case.
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