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South L.A. auto shop owner surprises alleged burglars, kills one

An owner of a South L.A. auto shop on Sunday interrupted a pair of alleged burglars, fatally shooting one of the men as he was fleeing, police said.

Shortly after midnight, a witness called the owners of a wholesale auto-sales shop on the 5800 block of South Hoover Street to alert them that a pair of men had hopped over the business’s fence, according to Det. Chris Barling, who oversees the homicide unit in LAPD’s South Bureau.

The men had removed the batteries from several vehicles by the time one of the owners arrived armed with a registered handgun, Barling said.  One of the alleged burglars  bolted and was attempting to climb over a fence when the owner fired a single shot that struck him in the buttocks area, according to Barling.

Immediately after the shooting, the owner called 911 to request paramedics, who took the suspect to a local hospital, Barling said.  He was pronounced dead a short time later. 

Detectives did not release the name of the business owner and are withholding the identity of the shooting victim until next of kin can be notified.

The circumstances of the shooting are still under investigation as detectives try to determine whether the owner was justified in using lethal force, Barling said.  They are looking, for example, into whether the owner intended to fire a warning shot that inadvertently struck the man or was aiming intentionally at him.  Another question to be answered is whether the owner reasonably feared for his safety at the time of the shooting. 

Detectives are expected to present the findings of their investigation on Tuesday to prosecutors, who will decide whether to file criminal  charges against the owner.

The second alleged burglar, 19-year-old Charles Netherly, was detained at the scene and arrested.  He is expected to face burglary charges, Barling said.  Police found another alleged accomplice, Christina Sharp, 19, in a nearby alley and suspect her of being the erstwhile get-away driver. Both Netherly and Sharp were being held at the 77th Street jail on $20,000 bail.

Some or all of the three are suspected of being involved in a previous burglary of the same shop, Barling said. 

The shop owner was interviewed and released.


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Comments () | Archives (37)

"Another question to be answered is whether the owner reasonably feared for his safety at the time of the shooting." Does this really matter? Breaking & entering/trespassing and being caught in the act should be enough.

Here in Ontario Canada the shop owner would be in custody and the dead alleged thief would be mourned as a victim of a cruel and uncaring society. Go figure.

Should give him a medal. And put him and the other burglar in a locked room for about 5 minutes.

Great Job!!!

He shot a criminal,..forget about it!

The guy died from a shot in the buttocks ?

Save the investigation money. Give the shop owner a medal.

That's what you get if your trying to rob somebody, no investigation needed!

In Kalifornia, lawmakers and police and DAs would rather have you be a dead victim than use a gun to defend yourself. Better to go in and get beat half dead than try to stop a crime, as the police may arrest you instead.

Here in Las Vegas this would be a no brainer. This is justifiable force and the business owner would not be charged with anything. This is the way it should be. We do not monkey around with criminals here in Nevada.

True justice. One less SCUM BAG in the prison system free loading off taxpayers.

Give him a medal

Why not charge the 2 accompliances with murder.


Why only one? Send the shop owner some more ammunition.

Too bad all three of these thieving scum were not killed. This shop owner is a hero.

Wow, the owner shot the burglar in buttocks area, and the suspect died?

The shop owner's intentions were to make people think twice about trespassing and stealing his property. Mission accomplished. Case closed.

The D.A. should not prosecute this man.

"I got shot in the buttocks....." Sounds rather hinky. Shooting someone fatally as they are running away doesn't sound justified; then again who would think a shot to the buttocks would be fatal??......

This case should be tracked closely. My bet is the business owner will be charged. And that's a shame. Firing a 'warning shot' will not get you off the hook. California needs to change their laws. If you are robbing a business or home, expect to get shot. We wonder why crime is so high in our state? Perhaps it's our backward laws that protect criminals.

I'm all with defending yourself, and i can understand the energy rush when catching two men... but if he wasn't shot at, and the man was running with his back turned... this is 2nd degree attempted murder. I sure wouldn't shoot even a 6'9 Samoan man running away... cause he's running, i've convinced myself never to shoot an intruder, unless he shoots at me first... specially if i see them running, maybe a warning shot to the ground. This is wrong...

Ok this is manslaughter. He shot the man in the back, regardless of the crime, unless the man just committed a multiple murder you witnessed... and he's still a threat, you never shoot a man in the back. Specially a petty thief stealing car batteries. This is an outrage, arrest the owner for excessive force. You only reply with the same force, or if you feel he's pointing a real gun at you. What's next, shoot a teenager in the back doing a beer run? I hope the D.A. does the right thing... cause shooting a man in the back for theft, is manslaughter at it's purest.

One less criminal.....

you guys this is an outrage yes the guy was robbing the place but he wasnt a threat once he turned his back. shooting him was pointless. and for those of u saying its one less scum bag how would you feel if the guy was your family member. yea i know the guy who was killed i grew up with him and he was only 19 years old. he had a toddler to live for. no i do not approve of his actions and for that he should have been arrested but shooting him was too extreme. sometimes you have to watch what u say and put yourself in a position of someone else. and another thing why would the security guard call the owner first but not call the police. if you ask me that part of the story is what they should also look into

oh yea and he wasn't shot in the butt he was shot in the lower torso

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