Note: we are republishing this story, which originally made the news in October 2019, amid recent reports of a surge in violent crime and robberies across America during the pandemic.
A man who was shot during an attempted robbery at a Dayton Dollar General store has been identified. According to Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger, 23 year old Roosevelt Rappley died at around 6:27 p.m. Manner and cause of death have yet to be determined.
According to reports, the incident began at around 6:20 p.m. when a man believed to be in his 20s walked into the 2228 North Gettysburg Avenue Dollar General with a gun. When the suspect demanded money, a clerk pulled out a gun and shot the suspect. The suspect walked out of the store and collapsed outside the front doors. He was later identified as Rappley.
According to Lt. Jason Hall, police were familiar with Rappley. He stated: “The deceased did have a pending weapons charge that was waiting to move forward. Right now we are looking into the possibility of this individual may have been involved in several other commercial robberies.”
According to witnesses, a person had walked into the store, brandished a handgun, and demanded money from the register. An armed employee, who was not working the register, confronted Rappley. Witnesses stated that Rappley pointed the gun at employees. In a 911 call, a man told police dispatchers that a man with a gun had attempted to rob him at the store.
The caller said: “He pointed a gun at me. I had a firearm on me. I pulled my firearm and I shot him in self-defense,” adding that the suspect had “shot back.” However, it remains unclear how many shots were fired during the incident.
Hall stated that detectives were still going through the evidence and ballistics from the scene to determine how many shots were fired and by which weapon. When asked about their policy regarding armed employees, Dollar General did not confirm or deny if they were allowed to carry firearms, but stated that they have “a number of safety and security procedures.”
“To protect the integrity of these measures, we do not comment on them specifically,” the company said in a statement. “We are continuing to review the circumstance surrounding this evening's events in Dayton, Ohio, and are cooperating with local authorities in their investigation.”
According to Hall, the employee did not need a CCW because Dollar General is considered private property. “As far the as the employee at Dollar General, he was legally possessing a weapon. He was on private property at his place of employment,” he said. Dayton police will not release the store surveillance video of the incident.