Thursday, December 18, 2008

Maryland: Police: Liquor Store Owner Kills Would-be Robber

Largo, Maryland

From WJLA of December 12, 2008
Police: Liquor Store Owner Kills Would-be Robber

The co-owner of a Largo liquor shot and killed a man during an attempted robbery Friday, police said.

Bill Miles, another co-owner of Kettering Liquors, was there. He saw the shooting. He says the would-be robber came in with a gun and a struggle ensued. Officers say it ended when Miles' business partner pulled out his gun and shot the man.

"There were a lot of us in the tussle and so it didn't work out too well for the other guy," Miles said. "It's tragic. Somebody died today. Good news is, it wasn't one of us. It was the bad guy."

The owner who shot the man was identified as Bill Robertson by Carolyn Tucker, a store employee.

"He must have thought somebody was going to get hurt," she said.

Tucker arrived for work around 8:30 Friday morning. She was met by police officers, crime scene tape and the news one of her employers shot and killed a robber. Tucker said it was the first hold-up she knew of at Kettering Liquors.

Solly Sellers, a Kettering Liquor customer, defended the co-owner's actions: "Would you defend yourself if you got robbed? Sure you should defend yourself. Why not?"

The co-owner who opened fire has not been charged. Investigators will determine whether the shooting was justified.

A handgun was recovered from the deceased man at the scene, police said.

Neighboring business owners in the shopping center say the area has been plagued with crime. The liquor store is protected by bars on its windows and, according to a friend of the owner, it has barbed wire in the ceiling to protect against burglars who come in through the roof.

Kevin McMann, another merchant in the Largo Plaza, said, "It's unfortunate for the robber, but it, you know, had to be done, in my opinion. Maybe it'll send a message out to other people: Don't mess with the owners."

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