Nashville, Tennessee

From the March 10, 2007 Tennessean:

A Nashville store clerk fatally shot a shoplifter late Friday night, police said.

Police said Richard Huddleston, 22, was in the process of stealing beer and hats at the Shell Market at 197 Haywood Lane at around 11 p.m. when he was confronted by the store clerk, Jefferson Bilbrey.

During a brief struggle between the two men, Huddleston reached inside his shirt as if he had a gun, according to a police news release. He then ran outside to a car parked near the gas pumps.

Bilbrey, 45, of South Nashville, followed and fired two shots at Huddleston with a .38-caliber revolver. At least one of those shots hit Huddleston, who was not armed, in the upper torso. Huddleston was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Metro Police are investigating the shooting, and the results of that probe will be handed over to the district attorney’s office. Bilbrey hadn’t been charged in connection with the shooting Saturday afternoon.

A Davidson County grand jury will likely decide if he’ll face charges, or if the threat he perceived justified his use of deadly force, police said.

Bilbrey does have a valid permit to carry a handgun, police said.

UPDATE: From May 30, 2007 channel 5 in Nashville:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A South Nashville store clerk who shot a man he said was shoplifting from his market has been charged with murder.

Convenience store clerk Jefferson Bilbrey, 45, was free on $80,000 bond Tuesday on a charge of second-degree murder for the March 10 shooting death of Richard Huddleston, Metro police said in a news release.

Police said Huddleston, 22, was stealing a beer and ball caps from a Shell Market on Haywood Lane when Bilbrey confronted him.

Huddleston ran outside the market and Bilbrey followed him and fired a .38-caliber revolver as Huddletson got into a car.

“Bilbrey did have a valid handgun carry permit; however, the police department’s investigation, along with reviews by the District Attorney’s office and the grand jury, determined that his use of deadly force was not justified under the circumstances,” according to a Metro police news release.

Huddleston’s victim’s mother Cheryl Huddleston said he wasn’t armed and that the shooting was senseless.

Bilbrey no longer works at that Shell Market. Huddleston’s mother currently has a civil suit against the store owner.

“It is our understanding that they have encouraged their store clerks to go out and get licensed to carry pistols and I just believe that that’s the wrong message,” said Huddleston’s attorney Michael Rowan.

He points to an incident only months before Huddelston’s death.

Police said in September, Bilbrey fired his pistol at a driver of a tractor trailer he said drove too close to him as he took out the store trash.

Bilbrey shot at the big rig driver because the driver tried to make a U-turn in the market’s parking lot.

“Evidently he seems to be really quick with the trigger,” Rowan said.


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