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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Are Business Owners Justified in Using Lethal Force?

DAYTON -- A robbery suspect was shot Saturday night in Dayton after he breaks into a 24-hour laundromat off Smithville Road.

The owner was in the store when Jeffrey Ellison, 38, was reportedly stealing change from the machines. Police say Ellison was armed with a hammer and a confrontation ensued inside the store.

"The owner fired a shot from the shotgun at the suspect. He fled the scene and he fired a second shot, which struck the suspect in the leg," said Dayton Police Sgt. Eric Sheldon.

Witnesses tell ABC 22/FOX 45 that the owner shot at the suspect while he was running away, a move that upsets them because people were near.

"You get robbed, self-defense, you can do that. But, that guy had his back turned. He was leaving. He was running away so he had no reason to shoot him again," said one witness.

We talked with a licensed firearms instructor, Brandon Hamilton, who says you really have to know the law when owning a gun.

Hamilton co-owns Family Tactical Training in Dayton.

"You can only use lethal force when you are truly in fear of death or great bodily harm," Hamilton said.

So, if someone is already leaving it could make self-defense hard to prove.

"Let's say you shoot twice and let's say they don't go down, they spin around and start running away. If you empty your magazine into their back, that's murder because at that point the threat is over."

Dayton Police tell us detectives will present the case to prosecutors and they will decide if charges will be files against the owner.

The suspect will be transported to Montgomery County Jail when he is released from the hospital.


* Earlier reports indicated Jeffrey Ellison was 18. That was incorrect information provided by Dayton police.

 
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