Store clerk facing murder charge in shooting of would-be shoplifter

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SPANAWAY, Wash. - A convenience store clerk in Washington is now behind bars after he allegedly shot and killed a man trying to shoplift.

Deputies arrested 30-year-old Min Kim early Monday afternoon.

Kim told KCPQ that 21-year-old Jakeel Mason was attempting to steal cigarettes from the Pacific Quickmart. Kim claims that Mason pushed him to the ground and tried to steal his gun.

"He was keep reaching for my gun and I was really afraid," Kim said. "I pulled my gun out and I shot him a couple times."

However, deputies say the store's surveillance system tells a different story.

"The struggle that we see on the video is the store clerk punching the suspect and when the suspect goes to leave the store, we have video of the store clerk firing rounds at him," said Detective Ed Troyer.

Investigators say in February, Kim's wife was involved in a shootout with a robbery suspect in the store.

"We know that just the previous month that his wife was shot at in a robbery, we understand that," Troyer said. "That probably leads to high emotions and people carrying weapons, but if you're going to carry weapons, you have to have the responsibility of carrying that weapon. We can't have shoplifts turn into homicides."

Police say Mason has a long history with the department, adding that he pleaded guilty after attempting to abduct a 6-year-old girl and also pleaded guilty to attempted burglary.

Kim will likely be charged with second-degree murder.

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