Cincinnati, Ohio – The Hamilton County Prosecutor, Melissa Powers, has warned potential thieves that they can “expect to be shot” when targeting retail stores, particularly in light of the recent indictment of a smoke shop manager in connection to the fatal shooting of a teenager during an attempted robbery.
Powers filed charges against Tony Thacker, manager of VIP Smoke Shop in Delhi Township, for the October shooting. Thacker, who was not permitted to possess a firearm due to a prior felony juvenile adjudication, fired multiple shots at suspects who had broken into the store. During the incident, a 16-year-old suspect was fatally wounded while attempting to flee the scene in a stolen vehicle.
“There is simply no justification for shooting at someone as they are running away,” Powers said. “However, I want to make perfectly clear — these retail thefts will not be tolerated. If you try to rob a store, you should expect to be shot.”
Thacker’s 21-year-old brother, Malachi, was also indicted for tampering with evidence following the shooting. The incident also resulted in the arrest of three teenagers, who face murder and burglary charges.
The situation has raised questions regarding the right to self-defense and the use of force, particularly in cases where individuals are fleeing. But it also highlights the extent to which retail theft is being taken seriously by law enforcement.
In addition to the shooting incident, Johnson’s 20-year-old brother, Isiah, was later charged with felonious assault for a separate altercation at a vigil held for his sibling, further complicating the legal proceedings.
As the case unfolds, it brings attention to the complexities of self-defense laws and the repercussions of attempting to thwart theft through the use of deadly force. The community is left grappling with the legal and moral implications of the actions taken on that fateful day.