My Son Was Committing An Armed Robbery, But I Want The Person Who Shot Him Charged

Matt Vespa
|
Posted: Jun 21, 2015 9:15 PM
My Son Was Committing An Armed Robbery, But I Want The Person Who Shot Him Charged

Piggybacking off Guthrie’s nonsensical question to Gov. Nikki Haley about the Second Amendment, comes a Tennessee mother who thinks the man who shot her son, who was committing an armed robbery at the time, should be charged for his actions. To make things more bizarre, she said it would have been “different” if the convenience store clerk, who was being held up, had shot her son.

The incident occurred last Monday, where 18-year-old Tamon Stapleton tried to rob an Ashville Highway convenience store with a 9mm handgun outside of Knoxville. A bystander saw this event unfold shot Stapleton in self-defense of another person, which is legal, and was absolutely the right thing to do. Stapleton had a history of violence, but his mother, Joy, feels differently about the shooter who saved the convenience store clerk’s life and her son’s past.

"I feel like the man should be charged," she [Joy] told 10News.

Police say Stapleton was robbing the Breadbox store when a friend of the clerk saw what was happening from outside and took action. That action, police say, is justified.

Authorities have not named the shooter, although they say he acted lawfully. He retrieved his handgun, walked into the store and just as Stapleton was forcing the clerk behind the register at gunpoint, he fired his weapon, said Knoxville Police Department PIO Darrell DeBusk.

Joy Stapleton shook her head when asked if she knew where her son got the 9mm pistol he was holding early Monday.

Police have not identified the shooter or the clerk. The shooter did not have a handgun carry permit

Stapleton had been in and out of the juvenile system for years, according to records. He was born in April 1997.

"He had a very violent and extensive criminal history as a juvenile," said DeBusk.

In 2011, officers picked him up for aggravated burglary. The following year, he was accused of attempted and aggravated robbery. He was put in the system a half-dozen times in 2011 alone.

Then in the summer of 2012, he was accused of aggravated assault and curfew violation.

"I don't care what they say about Tamon's juvenile charges, the past is the past," said Stapleton.

She plans to fight for charges against the shooter, but police say the case is closed.

"If the store clerk would have killed him I would have felt different," said Stapleton. "But because that man came into the store and killed him as he watched this robbery go on...he was not in danger. He could have dialed 911 and then went in to the store. But he didn't, he just automatically went into the store and shot my son in the head."

DeBusk said the man made the right call in protecting the clerk.

"You don't have time. He did not have time to make a phone call," said DeBusk. "He will not be charged because he was acting in good faith at a time when a person was in jeopardy of losing their life."

First, the person who stopped the armed robbery by shooting Tamon Stapleton didn’t “automatically” go into the store and kill her son. Second, everyone in the immediate area is at risk when someone is armed and committing a felony.  The samaritan who stopped this robbery deserves a medal.  Of course, the outcome would have been better if the situation ended with Tamon's arrest.  Sadly, the possibility was greatly reduced when he decided to throw a 9mm pistol into the equation. Lastly, for those who noticed the shooter’s lack of a carry permit; Tennessee residents can keep a loaded firearm in their cars, even if they don’t have one. The law went into effect in 2014.

The only person who was committing a crime was Tamon Stapleton.