According to authorities, a petrol station owner in South Carolina was charged with m*rder on Monday after reportedly shooting and m*rdering a 14-year-old kid who he mistakenly thought was shoplifting water bottles.
According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Rick Chow, 58, was detained and charged in relation to the deadly shooting of Cyrus Carmack-Belton in Columbia, South Carolina.
Despite Chow’s suspicions, Sheriff Leon Lott stated during a press conference on Monday that the boy did not shoplift from the Shell gas station.
He never stole anything from a store. No evidence that he stole anything at all exists, according to Lott.
Before Cyrus exited the business and ran away, according to the police, there was a verbal altercation inside.
According to Lott, the owner of the convenience store, who police claimed was carrying a pistol, and his son pursued the teenager toward an apartment building.
During the chase, Cyrus reportedly fell, climbed to his feet, and was shot in the back by Chow, according to authorities.
Police said Chow’s son claimed the victim had a pistol. A gun was reportedly discovered close to the teen’s body, but there was no information as to its owner.
“Even if he had shoplifted four bottles of water, which is what he initially took out of the cooler and then he put them back, even if he had done that, that’s not something you shoot anybody over, much less a 14-year-old,” said Lott. “You simply shouldn’t do that.”
MiaMcLeod Prayers for the family through posted a tweet:
My God…please pray for this young boy’s family and community.🙏🏾😓
Richland County convenience store owner charged with murder in shooting death of 14-year-old boy https://t.co/4Yuqd5cu8M
— Mia McLeod (@MiaforSC) May 29, 2023
In a second press conference on Tuesday, Lott denounced the alleged vandalism and looting that followed a nonviolent protest at the gas station on Monday and promised to prosecute those guilty.
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A police complaint states that demonstrators broke the store’s window, destroyed the gas pumps, painted the store’s exterior, and then fled the scene with beer and other food items.
Police say that Chow is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Facility.
According to authorities, a date and time for his bond hearing have not been set.
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