Malik Harris, 18, attempted to rob the NC Tobacco store in Greensboro, North Carolina late last month. An armed citizen stopped Harris in the act, fatally shooting him, WFMY 2 repots.
The incident happened sometime in the morning before 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29th. Harris entered the store armed with a handgun and quickly started making demands, according to store clerk Adil Khawaja.
“There were three or four customers in the store. And the guy came in and put the gun on all the customers, made everyone come [behind the counter] at gunpoint,” Khawaja explained.
An elderly lady walked in during the holdup and Harris quickly confronted her.
“He grabbed her by the neck, brought her back [behind the counter] at gunpoint,” with the rest of the customers, Khawaja said.
While Harris was dealing with the woman, one of the customer who was already behind the counter retrieved his own firearm. That’s when the situation turned deadly for the teen robber.
“[The customer] shot him four or five times,” said Khawaja. “It happened like in 45 seconds. Like 30 to 45 seconds.”
Though multiple shots were fired, Harris was only hit once. But that’s all it took. First responders rushed him to a local hospital but he would not survive the injury.
Khawaja felt bad for Harris, but also pointed out the misguided nature of his plan. That is to say, armed robbery in a state with permissive carry laws and a well-armed citizenry.
“I wish it could have ended up differently,” said Khawaja. “Personally, I don’t want to see an 18-year-old kid die. He didn’t even start his life yet. That was just a very, very poor decision in a state like North Carolina, where everyone has guns.”
Meanwhile, Greensboro Police say an investigation is still ongoing.
It’s not clear at this point if the citizen who shot Harris was a concealed carry permit holder. If he (or she) was, then it seems based on the available facts that it’s a clear-cut case of self-defense. If the individual did not have a valid permit, he or she may face charges for carrying unlawfully.
To obtain a permit in NC, one must complete a firearms training course and be at least 21 years of age.