A teen from Brockton, Massachusetts is facing numerous charges and is being held behind bars without bail after shooting a man who was armed with a knife at the teen’s place of business.
Khamani K. Anderson has been charged with carrying a loaded firearm without a license, unlawful possession of ammunition, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, but so far hasn’t been charged with any violent offense in connection with the shooting. Meanwhile, the man Anderson is accused of shooting is facing a number of charges of his own, the most serious of which is a count of assault with a deadly weapon.
According to police reports filed in court, [26-year-old Brandon] Theodat, a regular customer who some people had suspected of shoplifting in the past, entered the business on Campanelli Industrial Drive around 11:35 a.m. Sunday.
One store employee told police she overheard an argument between Anderson and Theodat, and that Theodat at one point said words to the effect of, “cam called me a broke [expletive],” court papers said.
An assistant manager told police he overheard the argument at Anderson’s register and told Anderson to walk away as it started to escalate, and as he was informed that Theodat had a knife.
The assistant manager told police Anderson headed to the break room but Theodat followed and refused the manager’s request that he leave the store, records show.
Anderson emerged from the break room with a fanny pack slung around his shoulder, the assistant manager told police, and the manager said he observed Theodat holding a knife as the argument continued by an electronics aisle, according to legal filings.
The assistant manager “stated both ended up to the east of the front door when the customer was approaching Khamani and he heard a gunshot,” the filings said, adding that the assistant manager “showed us where he observed Khamani Anderson when the shot went off, and pointed us towards a bra rack, which is where the shell casing was located.”
Legal filings said the assistant manager didn’t see a gun but did see Theodat “grab his right leg and start limping out of the store.” Anderson left the area.
Police found Theodat still in possession of the knife when they arrived on scene, while Anderson turned himself over to authorities “without incident” on Monday.
In most states, Anderson wouldn’t be facing charges at all (at least for possessing a firearm or ammunition without a license), but thanks to Massachusetts’ incredibly restrictive gun control laws the 18-year-old is looking at a mandatory minimum sentence of 18 months behind bars if he’s convicted of the non-violent, possessory offense. Discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, meanwhile, could lead to a fine and several months of jail time, though there is an exception for “the lawful defense of life and property,” which may very well be the case here.
It’s impossible for Anderson to have legally possessed any gun, for self-defense or any other lawful purpose, since Massachusetts requires applicants for a license to carry (which also serves as a license to possess) to be at least 21-years-old. There are several cases percolating around the federal court system challenging gun bans for under-21s, including Reese v. ATF in the Fifth Circuit, which heard oral arguments on the issue on Monday.
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— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) November 6, 2023
I’ll be curious to see if Anderson or his attorney raise a Second Amendment claim at any point in his criminal proceedings (presuming he fights the charges). If the only barrier to Anderson lawfully exercising his right to keep and bear arms is the fact that the state says he’s too young to do so, he has a very good argument that Massachusetts is infringing on his fundamental right to armed self-defense.