DETROIT (FOX 2) - A clerk who shot at a man seen stealing chips from the gas station has been fired and also in Detroit Police custody. The single shot that was fired missed the suspected thief, and hit his friend in the chest instead.
The shooting happened at the Shell gas station at the corner of W Warren and Southfield Road just after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Both the 27-year-old clerk and the suspected shoplifter were taken into police custody after the shooting, and the 22-year-old who was hit is in the hospital in temporary serious condition.
Surveillance video shows the two friends arguing with the clerk as they make their way out of the shop. The man in the white shirt bends over and can be seen filling his arms with multiple bags of potato chips before heading towards the door.
According to witnesses, he asked the two men to leave after they had been in and out of the gas station all week. They said the two were arguing, loitering, and stealing.
"They talk about how they wanna kill somebody and they get shot themself," one witness, named Moe, said.
Detroit Police said the clerk seemingly got fed up with the thieves and pulled a gun. Video showed he pointed it at them and then put down, before firing a single shot. The shot hit one of the men in the chest as he was leaving.
"Someone stealing a bag of chips doesn't warrant you firing a weapon. That's not acceptable. Ever," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
But employees said it wasn't just the bag of chips.
One employee who witnessed the shooting said the men were threatening the clerk and said he wasn't going to make it to his car because they had a shooter waiting for him.
"If I was in there and somebody came up to me and said you're going to die today… I wouldn't take that from nobody," Moe said, adding that his reaction was right and correct.
Craig says there is no excuse.
"This is something you don't take into your own hands. You're not faced with an imminent threat.... that changes it."
The man who was shot is expected to be okay. As for the gas station owner, he agrees the clerk went too far shooting the man and says he is no longer employed at the store.
Authorities haven't said what charges the clerk could face or what charges the accused chip thief could face.