NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As a Kwik Sak clerk faces an aggravated assault charge for allegedly shooting a man who fled with an 18-pack of beer, a local attorney explains what may behind that charge.
It happened Friday morning around 2:30 a.m. at the convenience store in the 2200 block of Hamilton Road in Bordeaux.
Police said 44-year-old Jerry Smith Jr. entered that Kwik Sak to pick up the beer, tried to pay for it with a credit card, but it was declined at the counter.
Authorities said Smith then fled with the pack of beer.
Police said the clerk, Said Hermina, chased Smith before firing three shots.
Local attorney Alex Little said it’s reasonable for clerks like Hermina to be concerned about their safety, but they can’t take the law into their own hands.
“If someone is not near you or they are leaving the scene they generally don’t pose a risk to you and so the law doesn’t allow you to go take deadly force against them,” said Little. “We don’t have a vigilante system of justice. Your job is not to do the job of police.”
Little added a good rule of thumb for those who feel in danger is to respond in a way that’s proportional to the threat.
Smith has since been treated and released from the hospital.
Hermina remains in jail on a $10,000 bond.