Woman charged for shooting at shoplifter

2015-10-13 22:05
Revolver. (iStock)

Revolver. (iStock)

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Chicago - A woman who shot at the tyres of a fleeing shoplifter in the parking lot of a Home Depot will face criminal charges, US prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The charges come a day after a customer reportedly opened fire on two shoplifters fleeing a farm supply store in Indiana.

Police said nobody was in any danger when Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez, 46, pulled out a gun after hearing someone shout "stop thief" last week in suburban Detroit, Michigan.

Prosecutors said she shot at the tyres as the alleged shoplifter's Jeep drove past in a "misguided attempt to disable the vehicle."

"I find it very disturbing that someone would take out their gun in a busy parking lot," Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said in a press release.

"Once fired, the bullet could have easily ricocheted or fragmented and injured or killed someone else. It would have been much more helpful for her to take out her cellphone and shoot pictures of the shoplifter's licence plate."

Auburn Hills Chief of Police Doreen Olko said she was "grateful that nothing more serious happened."

"We do not encourage bystanders to insert themselves into incidents because of the potential for deadly consequences," she added.

Duva-Rodriguez was charged with reckless discharge, handling or use of a firearm, a misdemeanour with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail.

Prosecutors in neighbouring Indiana are still weighing whether to press charges against a man who helped employees chase two suspected shoplifters into the parking lot of a Big R farm supply store and then fired one shot towards them.

Police said the shoplifters never threatened anyone, according to Fox28 news in Elkhart, Indiana. Police found one shell casing but were unable to recover the bullet.

"It scares me sometimes that people are just so ready to pull out and start blazing," shopper Robert Miller told the station.

"Call the police, let the professionals handle it."

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