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Bandit and customer trade shots at a store robbery

Why the customer could face charges too
Posted at 5:24 PM, May 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-07 21:15:50-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - A man with a gun tried to rob a phone store in Tucson Sunday.  A customer in the store pulled his gun and the two traded shots.

As of late Monday police are still looking for the robber, and authorities will have to decide if the customer should face charges.

When a thief with a gun hit the Metro PCS store at 29th and Craycroft, he was probably planning to scoop up loads of valuable cell phones---but the heist did not go as planned.

Monday the doors of the shop were boarded up because the glass was shot out them.  That gives you an idea of how wild things got there.  

A man walked in, pulled a mask over his face, and pulled out a gun.  A customer in the store had his own gun.  He pulled it out and they got in a firefight.
Tucson Police say the two traded multiple shots. The robber ran away.  It's not clear if he was hit.
It is possible the customer could be hit with charges if authorities decide he was not justified to shoot.
Defense attorney Natasha Wrae says if the bandit threatened the customer there's a strong case for self-defense.

"But if there aren't any actual threats towards the Good Samaritan and let's just say it's the store clerk who seems to be being threatened and is in harm's way then our Good Samaritan can certainly take matters into their own hands and do what we call a defense of others.”

Arizona's law on self-defense is found at this link in Arizona Revised Statutes.
Wrae says the customer had no obligation to run away from the threat. But there's no obligation to draw his gun and intervene either. She compares to a doctor who may decide not to stop and help at a car accident.

"They don't have to pull over.  Usually, it's just their own conscience and goodwill that's making them stop and intervene and help out."
Police say they're still investigating this case. It'll probably be up to the Pima County Attorney to decide if the customer broke the law.