Police in Florida shot and killed a shoplifter on Wednesday evening, after he allegedly stole a pizza and Pokemon cards from a Target.
On Wednesday evening, more than a dozen units allegedly responded to a Target in Kissimmee in response to a suspicious vehicle with covered or unmarked license plates. Officers watched two men get out of the car wearing “masks and hoodies” and enter the store, according to the affidavit written by Deputy Cole Miller. Miller talked to the store’s Loss Prevention Supervisor on the phone, who told him that the men were leaving the store without paying for a pizza and multiple packs of Pokemon cards.
“While on the phone with me, [a Target employee] confirmed the two suspects exited the store without paying for a pizza and multiple packs of Pokemon cards. Target desires prosecution for the theft,” the report says. “I later reviewed the video surveillance which confirmed the two suspects selected an empty Target shopping bag, multiple packs of Pokemon cards and a pizza; all which were concealed and not paid for by the suspects.”
There is no indication in the affidavit that any of the suspects were armed, and the only information about the shooting in the affidavit—which explains, at length, the details about the alleged theft of the pizza and cards—is this: “Contact was attempted with the black Audi by multiple units after circling the parking lot and being occupied by others. A takedown was attempted which resulted in an officer involved shooting.”
According to the Orlando Sentinel, two deputies shot and killed a man, and three others were injured. The one who was fatally shot died at the hospital, and two of the other men, 18 and 19 years old, were taken to the hospital and charged with petty theft. Another court document obtained by Motherboard shows that one of the suspects was unable to appear in court because “defendant in the hospital unable to identify.”
Last year, Motherboard reported that Target told its employees that they should call the cops on people who were camping overnight to buy Pokemon cards, and for a while, the store banned the sale of Pokemon cards altogether after an attempted robbery in the parking lot of a Target store in Wisconsin. Target employees worried at the time that being asked to call the cops on customers would end poorly. This case seemingly did not involve any long lines, but shows how quickly an interaction with the police over petty theft can become deadly.
"I believe my deputies are justified in all their actions,” Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez told local news outlet FOX 35. “I have the utmost – 200% trust – in everything they do based on their training and their experience. Things escalate. This is the real world."
Jason Koebler contributed reporting to this story.