Two customers who witnessed a pair of shoplifters leaving an Alabama store followed the duo to the parking lot. In an effort to stop them from fleeing, one of the customers fired his gun at the shoplifters' vehicle.
As a result, one of the shooters, Dawn Eugene Estes of Georgia, was charged with one count of reckless endangerment for firing his weapon in a crowded parking lot, the city of Prattville announced. Estes was held on $500 bond.
The other man, also from Georgia, has not been charged in relation to the incident. The accused shoplifters haven’t been apprehended.
A review of Alabama Criminal Code states in section 13A-3-27 (g) "a private person acting on his own account is justified in using physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person whom he reasonably believes has committed a felony and who in fact has committed that felony, but he is justified in using deadly physical force for the purpose only when he reasonably believes it necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force."
Police have stated that Estes, who fired a shot at the suspects’ tires, did not act in self-defense.