Conservative News Daily

Gas station owner accused of murdering teen he suspected of shoplifting.

Gas Station Owner Charged with Murder in Death of Teen He Accused of Shoplifting

A South Carolina gas station owner has been charged with murder after allegedly chasing and shooting a 14-year-old boy in the back. Rick Chow, owner of Xpress Mart Shell station in Columbia, believed the teen had shoplifted four bottles of water. However, Cyrus Carmack-Belton put the bottles back and was off the store’s property running away when he was killed.

“You don’t shoot somebody in the back that is not a threat to you,” the sheriff said. “Same standard the cops live by.”

A gun was found near the teen’s body, but there was no evidence that he ever pointed the weapon at Chow or his son. Chow, who had a concealed weapons permit, was charged after an autopsy showed the teen was shot in the back and deputies spoke to witnesses and reviewed surveillance and other video.

Self-defense law in South Carolina requires the shooter doesn’t instigate the incident, believes he is in imminent danger, and has no way to avoid that danger.

Community Response

Both the sheriff and coroner asked for calm from the community. Social media posts claimed the teen was kneeling or had his hands up when he was shot. However, the coroner stated that the teen was shot while he was running and the bullet went through his back and into his heart.

Chow’s store was broken into the night after he was charged with murder. The entire gas station was behind yellow crime scene tape the next morning.

Call for Peace

The day before, the coroner stood near the gas pumps, asking the dozens gathered there to not turn to violence to help the grief of the family of Carmack-Belton, who was a student at a nearby middle school. “Please be peaceful,” Rutherford said. “This family does not need any more trauma related to his death.”

Let us all remember to be peaceful and respectful during this difficult time.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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