DA discusses why store clerk faces murder charge after shooting theft suspect

Local News

A convenience store clerk faces murder charges after police say she shot and killed a man stealing beer.

The Clark County Coroner has identified the man as 56-year-old Robert Lee Cook.

The deadly shooting happened Friday morning at North Las Vegas Boulevard and East Washington Avenue.

Police say Cook was trying to steal beer from a Sinclair gas station. That’s when the clerk Suse Antunez-Garcia ran outside and shot him.

While people who know those involved say stealing is not right, they say Cook was should not have lost his life over it.

“It’s terrible man, it was like vigilante style,” said Ricardo who witnesses the shooting. He did not want his last name used.

Police say 26-year-old Suse Antunez-Garcia shot and killed 56-year-old Robert Lee Cook after he tried stealing cases of beer.

Ricardo saw everything unfold Friday morning.

“It’s just a tragic situation. I know the clerk. She’s a good girl, she’s a good girl, but you know what, I don’t think she should be carrying around a personal gun.”

8 News Now has learned Cook — and another woman — were trying to get away with a few cases of beer.

Police say the store manager ran after them and some kind of fight started. That’s when Antunez-Garcia got a gun out of her purse, went outside and started shooting.

“I’m very sad about what happened,” said Justin Kay, victim’s friend.

Kay claims to be a friend of Cook’s. He says, despite Cook’s actions, his friend didn’t deserve to die.

“He was a good person, just a little bit down on his luck,” Kay said.

“When it comes to stealing, it’s the wrong thing to do, but what happened that day was totally uncalled for.”

“You can’t kill a person for a beer run,” said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.

He says they see cases similar to this every few years. What it comes down to —  is the law of self-defense.

“You can use deadly force if you’re defending yourself or others, if you have a reasonable fear that you’re going to be seriously injured or killed. And those aren’t the facts of this case,” Wolfson said. “There was no indication whatsoever that the thief was armed or posed any kind of a significant health threat.”

Now, one man is dead and a woman — faces the justice system.

“I mean it’s a tragedy all the way around,” Ricardo said.

Antunez-Garcia faces an open murder charge. She declined a jailhouse interview with 8 News Now. She is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for her arraignment.
 

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