Florida: South Florida Store Clerks Go Vigilante

Miami, Florida

From the Miami News Times of August 4, 2009

South Florida Store Clerks Go Vigilante

It was pouring rain just after 1 p.m. Monday, July 20, when a man burst into a Honduran grocery store on NW 36th Street in Miami. A shirt was wrapped around his face as he gripped a black semiautomatic handgun. Twenty-year-old Charles Bell shoved the pistol into the face of a manager behind the counter. Then he demanded the contents of the cash register and cartons of cigarettes in a plastic bag.

Next he began herding customers to the back of the small market.

But when he returned to the counter to collect his loot, a short, well-built 24-year-old manager named Valentin Fiallos pointed a .38 and squeezed the trigger. As Bell scampered from the store, he turned and shot back several times. Fiallos, shielding himself, squeezed off several more rounds.

The would-be robber missed every time, but the manager’s aim was true. Bell burst out of the store and ran several steps before flopping onto the wet asphalt. A bullet to the chest killed him.

Cops termed it “justifiable homicide.” The ruling is backed up by former Gov. Jeb Bush’s 2005 “Stand Your Ground” law, which offers wide-ranging legal protection to violent-crime victims who open fire on their aggressors before trying to make peace.

(Much More)

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