A Missouri man is dead after pulling a gun on an armed grocery store employee in the store’s parking lot, police said Thursday.
Representatives from the Jefferson County sheriff’s office told KSDK that Robert Lawson, 48, was shot and killed by an employee of Karsch's Village Market after Lawson caused a disturbance in the Barnhart, Missouri, store around 10 a.m.
Witnesses said Lawson, who was from the nearby town of Imperial, appeared drunk and was asked to the leave the store. Employees called the police.
Before sheriff’s deputies could arrive, though, a few employees escorted him outside. When Lawson tried to get in his truck, they reportedly tried to get him to surrender his keys so he wouldn’t drive drunk.
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They promised to get Lawson a ride home, but he declined and continued towards his truck. Lawson is said to have then climbed in his vehicle and pulled a gun from his glove box.
“The victim, at some point in time during the conversation, produced a hand gun and pointed it at the store employee. The store employee drew his weapon and fired his weapon at least twice, maybe three times, striking the individual,” Jefferson County Sheriff Olive “Glenn” Boyer told KTVI.
Lawson was declared dead at the scene.
The employee reportedly had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Boyer declined to identify the person who shot Lawson, but said he was a 23-year-old male, also from Imperial.
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Investigators remained at the scene for nearly five hours, collecting evidence.
Boyer said the shooting appeared to be a case of self-defense, but said the ultimate determination will be made by the prosecutor in Jefferson County after detectives turn over the information from their investigation.
Although surveillance cameras were operating at the time of the incident, they did not capture the shooting, Boyer said.