A supermarket owner in Columbia, South Carolina, has been charged with murdering a 14-year-old boy who “didn’t steal anything,” officials said.
The supermarket owner suspected a teen boy of shoplifting
A South Carolina supermarket owner was shot dead Sunday in the back by a 14-year-old boy accused of shoplifting and chasing him after an altercation, authorities said. Rick Chow, 58, was arrested Monday and charged with murder in the death of Silas Carmack Belton. “He didn’t steal anything,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said at a news conference Monday. “There is absolutely no evidence that he stole anything,” Lott said Carmack Belton walked into a supermarket on Columbia’s Park Lane Road around 8 p.m. At one point, the teenager Chow and the owner’s son got into an argument, Lott said, without elaborating on how the argument came about. Carmack Belton eventually left the store and fled, Lott added.
Not a case of prejudice
“It’s senseless,” Lott said. It doesn’t make sense. You have a family that’s grieving. We have a community that’s grieving over a 14-year-old who was shot. He said even if Carmack Belton stole something from the store, that didn’t justify the shooting. Even if he stole the four bottles of water he took out of the cooler first and put it back in, even if he was stealing, it’s not — it’s like shooting people.” No, much less it’s like you shoot someone.” Lott said.