GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been charged in connection to a shooting that injured a teenager in Grand Rapids earlier this month.
Jose Guadalupe Morin was arraigned Tuesday on one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
The shooting happened on Sept. 12 at the E & J Laundromat on Kalamazoo Avenue SE near the intersection of Ewing Avenue SE.
According to a probable cause document filed with the court, Morin told investigators that the teen came into the store and Morin asked him to leave, “believing that this subject was going to steal from his store.” The teen then “grabbed some cigarillos from behind the counter” and tried to leave without paying, Morin said.
“As (the teen) was leaving the store with the cigarillos Morin fired one shot striking (him) as (he) was leaving the store,” the document says.
The teen, who was seriously hurt, apparently admitted to police that he was trying to steal the cigarillos but “denied any other wrongdoing and claims Morin shot him for the theft.”
Morin was carrying his gun legally, the court document says, and kept it with him to protect his store.
According to a judge, Morin has no prior criminal history.
Morin’s bond was set at $5,000. He’s expected back in court for a probable cause conference on Oct. 10 and a preliminary hearing on Oct. 17.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker told News 8 that in the past, there have been times when store owners were cleared for a shooting.
“Because they were being assaulted, there was a fear there, there was a necessity for the use of deadly force,” Becker said.
He added that a person shoplifting doesn’t meet that threshold, which caused him to file charges against Morin.
“When you have a misdemeanor retail fraud, that changes the analysis of the case,” Becker said. “You can use deadly force to maybe stop a fleeing felon, or you can use deadly force in self-defense. None of those were present here.”
Each case like this is different, and each one will be determined by the facts of the investigation, according to Becker.
“I hope no one is taking from this that we’re giving a green light for people to commit retail fraud and shoplifting, because we’re not doing that,” Becker said. “But on the other hand, we have to have some barriers in terms of when people can use deadly force.”
Becker said that he does not expect that the teen involved in the shoplifting will face any charges.