In March 2016, we reported on the story of Min Kim, the Spanaway, Washington convenience store owner who was arrested after he shot and killed a suspected robber just weeks after his wife had been shot in the stomach during an attempted armed robbery in their family-owned store.
“I am scared. I’m scared of everybody who is walking actually right now. Whoever just walks by I am frightened,” Min Kim said at the time.
Min was working at Kim’s Pacific Quick Shop as his wife recovered from the gunshot wound when 21-year-old Jakeel Mason entered the store and allegedly took pepperoni and cigarettes.
“As soon as I see him I pulled out my gun out and he stopped everything and he raised both hands,” said Min Kim. “As soon as I see he is no threat I put my pistol back.”
Surveillance video from the store did confirm that after he put the gun away, a brief scuffle occurred between the two men.
“I was down and he was on top of me and he was trying to reach my gun,” Min Kim said.
But the video also confirmed Mason was leaving the store when Kim shot him twice in the back with 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,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
Although Mason was found to be unarmed, his criminal history proved 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.
KOMO News reported:
“I did not have the right to take Mr. Mason’s life or anyone else’s life,” Min Kim said in court on Friday. “I feel terrible that I did so and will have to live with that for the rest of my life.”
Kim asked the judge for permission to write a letter of apology to Mason’s family. Most often there are no-contact orders with family, but the judge granted that request.
Judge John Hickman called the situation “tough”, but said deadly force was not warranted in this case and sentenced Kim to eight years in prison.
This story is a grim reminder that we must take our training seriously, and mentally prepare to assess potential situations like the one Mr. Kim found himself in. A street encounters skill course is always a good idea for every concealed carry permit holder.
The sad reality is that unlike criminals, law-abiding gun owners don’t walk away from a shooting with bragging rights, we are forced to wear the scars of it for the rest of our lives. An enormous distinction many with the gun control agenda fail to acknowledge or even remotely comprehend.