This article was originally published on Huffington Post by Nina Golgowski on February 5, 2017.
A Walmart customer fatally shot a 19-year-old man who was allegedly seen trying to steal diapers from the Florida store, authorities said.
The teenager was allegedly loading the merchandise into a stolen vehicle with three to four other people Saturday morning when the customer saw an employee at the Pine Hills store confronting the suspects and attempted to help, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“While helping the employee, the customer felt threatened by one of the suspects, who the customer believed was arming himself,” Orange County Sheriff Capt. Angelo Nieves stated in a press release.
“The customer who had a firearm of his own fired to defend himself and the suspects all jumped into their red vehicle and attempted to flee,” he stated.
WFTV reported that the teenager was shot multiple times. A witness speaking to WESH-TV said she heard as many as eight shots fired.
The suspects took off in their vehicle before crashing it into two other cars in the parking lot. They then abandoned the vehicle and took off on foot.
The 19-year-old who had been shot attempted to flee into a nearby gas station but collapsed once inside. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
The suspects’ vehicle was later identified as having been stolen in a Jan. 14 carjacking, Nieves said.
No arrests have been made in the case. Authorities said they are still considering whether charges will be pressed against the customer who fired the gun.
“We have a situation where someone rendered aid, they provided assistance to someone else. Currently they’re being cooperative and they’re providing information and statements,” Nieves said of the customer at a press conference Saturday.