Store owner gets 8 years for fatally shooting shoplifter

TACOMA (KRON) — A Tacoma, Washington store owner will spend more than eight years in prison after shooting an unarmed shoplifter in the back.

31-year-old Min Kim pleaded guilty earlier this year to shooting and killing Jakeel Mason after he caught him shoplifting at the Spanaway convenience store he owned with his family in March of 2016, according to CNN affiliate KIRO.

Prosecutors say Kim pulled a gun on Mason then put it away when Mason put up his hands and backed away. Then Kim started fighting with the victim. When Mason broke free and ran, Kim shot him twice in the back killing him.

“I did not have right to take Mr. Mason’s life, or anyone else’s life. I feel terrible that I did so and will have to live with that for the rest of my life,” Kim said during the trial.

Mason’s death came just more than a month after Kim’s wife was shot and wounded during a robbery at the store.

Prosecutors asked for a ten-year sentence while Kim’s attorney asked the court for a sentence of just two years saying he was still distraught after his wife’s shooting.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge John Hickman decided on eight years and four months saying despite Kim’s anger over what happened to his wife, he had no right to kill an unarmed shoplifter.

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