A South Carolina store owner accused of fatally shooting a boy is charged with murder

A South Carolina gas station owner faces murder charges for shooting a 14-year-old boy he suspected of shoplifting.

The backstory: Rick Chow is accused of chasing and fatally shooting Cyrus Carmack-Belton, whom Chow believed had shoplifted water bottles from his store, but the boy reportedly returned the items before he ran away and was shot.
* Sheriff Leon Lott said a gun was found near the teen’s body, but it wasn’t pointed at Chow or his son at any point during the incident.

In court: Chow, who had a concealed weapons permit, was charged after an autopsy showed the middle school student was shot in the back, and law enforcement spoke to witnesses and reviewed surveillance footage.
* Self-defense law in South Carolina requires the shooter to not instigate the incident and believe they’re in imminent danger with no way to avoid it.

Community response: The sheriff and coroner have asked for calm from the community, as social media posts have falsely claimed the teen was kneeling or had his hands up when he was shot, and Chow’s store is now guarded by deputies after being broken into and looted.

View original article on NPR

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