The exact circumstances of this shooting are a little uncertain. One source says that Malachi Hicks, the robbery suspect, was running away when he was shot by the employee’s parent, who was armed with a model 1911 in .45 ACP. The Anniston Police Chief, Shane Denham had this to say.
Denham said Hicks was apparently lying in wait as employees were closing the restaurant for the evening. Hicks was armed with a .22 caliber pistol, Denham said.
“He forced his way into the back of the business and got that night’s proceeds,” Denham said.
Denham said that as the crime occurred, one employee ran out the front of the business to where his parents were parked to pick him up. Upon hearing of the robbery, the employee’s father grabbed a .45 caliber pistol, confronted Hicks behind the building, then shot him multiple times.
Shooting at someone who is running away is frowned upon in most states. But it always depends on the circumstances and the state you are in. In Texas, for example, there are special provisions if the crime occurs at night, on your own property, or if a reasonable person would believe it would be necessary to prevent the loss of movable property. It is important to know the laws for the area where you live. There are some general guidelines that apply across the nation as a whole.
If someone has moved far enough away so that they are no longer a threat, shooting at them is a bad idea. That bullet has to be accounted for. In densely populated areas, there is the chance that it will hit an innocent. There is a real chance of property damage. But there is one situation where juries and prosecutors usually agree that shooting can be considered reasonable.
That is where the the person doing the shooting has already been threatened with a weapon that is effective at a distance, such as a gun. The person cannot know if the movement of the person threatening them is really a retreat, or simply a tactical move to cover or a better position to shoot from. It is not uncommon for criminals to fire back toward possible pursuers, to cover their escape. They are still a deadly threat.
We do not know how the prosecutor in this case will rule.
Anniston, Alabama is a fairly small town of about 23,000. It is home to the Anniston Army Depot, which employs 3,400 people directly. The Army is obviously a major employer in the area. Small town, with the Army as the major employer. A great place for military retirees.
I doubt that the man with the .45 will be charged.
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