Ohio Prosecutor: Robbers Should Expect to Get Shot

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

There are some DAs who are very tough on crime and there are others who are soft on crime. It doesn’t matter what city, county, or state you’re in. What matters is the DA in charge of prosecuting crimes in your neck of the woods.


In Ohio, though, there are a few mixed signals being sent by a prosecutor.

You see, she’s opted to prosecute a man who shot a robber trying to rob his store, but she’s also telling criminals that if they’re robbing a place, they should expect to get shot.

An Ohio prosecutor has indicted a smoke shop manager for allegedly shooting to death a 16-year-old boy during a robbery attempt — but warned that people “should expect to be shot” if they target stores.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Melissa Powers filed the charges against the manager, Tony Thacker, 29, for allegedly shooting at would-be robbers as they fled VIP Smoke Shop in Delhi Township on Oct. 20, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

“However, I want to make perfectly clear — these retail thefts will not be tolerated. If you try to rob a store, you should expect to be shot,” she added.

Mixed signals, right?

Not necessarily.

What’s omitted in that quote is that the person Thacker shot was, first of all, running away. That means he was no longer a threat. A lot of people think they can shoot someone fleeing, but you can’t do that. They’re no longer threatening you–unless, of course, they’re taking shots at you while running away or something similar–so your right to defend yourself isn’t applicable.

It also seems that Thacker was a prohibited person due to a felony conviction. That also changes the calculus a bit.

But Powers isn’t wrong to warn would-be robbers that if they’re going to commit an act like this, they should expect to be shot.


Robbery is an inherently violent crime in most instances. Law-abiding citizens who exercise their right to keep and bear arms have a right to protect themselves from violent criminals. In a state like Ohio where there are a fair number of gun owners, the risk to criminals becomes very real.

I want them to know that. I want them to understand that. I want them to recognize the very real probability that if they continue down this path, it’s only a matter of time before someone shoots them.

Almost no criminal thinks they’re going to get caught, but quite a few recognize that they’ll be face-to-face with their victim. That means a high likelihood that they’ll be shot.

What happened in Ohio may look like mixed signals, but it’s not because of some extenuating circumstances. Yet it also looks like Powers isn’t really interested in prosecuting armed citizens who act in self-defense, either.

If she were, I suspect she’d not have said what she did, especially knowing how a lot of people throughout the nation would react to it.

Of course, she also said the truth. It’s just a shame that in this day and age, that’s a revolutionary act.

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