Armed robbery suspect shot by 91-year-old officially charged

- MOUNT CLEMENS, MICHIGAN  --  A 30-year-old man who was shot by a 91-year-old man he approached in an Eastpointe parking lot Monday has been charged with felonious assault.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith today authorized one count of assault with a dangerous weapon, a four-year felony, against Richard George Ashford, 30, of Eastpointe. Ashford was arraigned today in 38th District Court, Eastpointe.

According to the victim and independent witnesses, Ashford walked directly at a 91-year-old man in a threatening manner as the man exited his car at 10:15 a.m. in the Rite Aid parking lot at Nine Mile and Gratiot. 

The elderly man, frightened by the approach, announced that he was a CPL holder and retreated back into his car.  He waited in the car until the suspect walked out of view.

The elderly man then re-exited his car and walked to the Rite-Aid.  As he neared the front doors, he saw the younger man approach again holding something in his hand. 

The 91-year-old shouted again that he was armed and told the suspect to back off.  The suspect continued to approach with an unknown object held in his hand above his head.  The elderly man then pulled his .38 revolver and fired at the younger man from a distance of approximately ten feet. 

When the younger man continued to approach, the elderly man fired again, wounding the younger man in the neck.

The 91-year-old then flagged down a passing vehicle and asked to be taken to the police station.  Two independent witnesses from an office building next to the Rite Aid confirmed the elderly man's account.

"This elderly man's self-defense is an entirely appropriate use of force," said Prosecutor Smith.  "Facing imminent assault, he announced that he was armed, made attempts to withdraw, warned again that he held a weapon, and fired only when completely necessary.

"This is a textbook case for why concealed pistol licenses are issued in the first place," he said.  "American citizens have the right to protect themselves in the face of clear assault."

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