Just weeks after his wife was shot in the stomach shot during an attempted armed robbery in the Spanaway, Washington convenience store he owns, Min Kim came face to face with a shoplifter.
“I am scared. I’m scared of everybody who is walking actually right now. Whoever just walks by I am frightened,” Min Kim admitted.
His wife, still recovering from the gunshot wound she sustained on February 18th, was no doubt on Kim’s mind when Jakeel Mason, 21, entered the store and allegedly took pepperoni and cigarettes. After realizing he was being robbed, Kim confronted Mason and punched him, demanding he leave the store.
“I grabbed him by his jacket. Do not leave here so I can have some moments to call the cops and everything,” said Kim. “As soon as I see him I pulled out my gun out and he stopped everything and he raised both hands. As soon as I see he is no threat I put my pistol back.”
It could have ended there, but that’s when everything fell apart for Kim.
“After reviewing the evidence, it appears that the victim was never a threat,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
Surveillance video from the store shows Mason was leaving the store when Kim shot him twice in the back when there was a clear distance between them.
“As the suspect was leaving the store, the store clerk pulled a weapon out and shot him twice and those rounds were responsible for killing him,” said Troyer.
While Mason was found to be unarmed, his criminal history shows he was no Boy Scout. In 2014, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail for unlawful imprisonment for picking up a 6-year-old girl and attempting to abduct her. In 2015, Mason was also convicted of attempted second-degree burglary.
Min Kim has been arrested and booked on second degree murder charges.
“This is a tough one because we can understand why the store clerk was on guard. His wife has just been shot there a month before during a robbery attempt and the whole family was upset about it. But that doesn’t give you the license and the right to arm yourself and shoot people who may be involved in shoplifting,” said Troyer.