Yesterday Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Min Sik Kim, 30, with murder in the second degree for shooting a shoplifter, 21-year-old Jakeel Rashon Mason, in the back as he tried to flee from Kim’s store. Kim is scheduled to be arraigned today at 1:30 p.m. in room 270 of the County-City Building in Tacoma.
“The defendant’s frustrations are understandable, but his actions were not lawful,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Shop owners cannot legally shoot unarmed shoplifters attempting to flee.”
On March 25, 2016, a group of men were loitering outside Kim’s store, and Kim went outside to tell them to leave. Video surveillance from inside the store shows that while Kim was outside, Mason attempted to steal cigarettes from behind the counter. As Kim entered the store, he pulled out a pistol from his waistband and held Mason at gunpoint. Mason put his hands up and Kim backed him up against a store shelf. Kim then put his gun back in his waistband and punched Mason in the face. The two struggled for a few seconds as Mason tried to get away from Kim. Once Kim was on the ground, Mason ran toward the door. He picked up a pack of cigarettes as he attempted to leave. Kim stood up, pulled his pistol from his waistband and fired at Mason, striking him twice in the back. Mason collapsed in the doorway. Kim then picked up the stolen cigarettes and called 911.
Kim’s wife was clerking the same store in February when the store was robbed by a different person. The robber displayed a gun and the two fired at each other. She was shot, but survived.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.