Thug gunman’s mother wants crime-fighter charged for shooting her son; cops say NO

A Tennessee mother whose son was shot to death while robbing a convenience store is demanding police arrest the man who stopped the crime.

Tamon J. Stapleton, 18, entered a Breadbox store in Knoxville at around 2:30 a.m. and placed a gun to the head of a female employee while demanding money, according to local NBC affiliate WBIR.

A friend of the employee observed the activity, got a gun from his car, entered the store and shot Stapleton in the head.

“If the store clerk would have killed him I would have felt different,” Joy Stapleton told the station. “But because that man came into the store and killed him as he watched this robbery go on … He was not in danger. He could have dialed 911 and then went in to the store. But he didn’t, he just automatically went into the store and shot my son in the head.”

Although she admits her son was in the wrong to have attempted to rob the store, she said the man who killed him should not have intervened.

“I feel like the man should be charged,” she told WBIR.

Police, however, disagree. Knoxville police spokesman Darrell DeBusk told the station that not only was Tamon Stapleton armed and threatening, he had a “very violent and extensive criminal history as a juvenile.”

The man who shot him made the right decision, DeBusk said.

“You don’t have time. He did not have time to make a phone call,” said DeBusk. “He will not be charged because he was acting in good faith at a time when a person was in jeopardy of losing their life.”

The Washington Free Beacon’s report of the incident prompted a debate on Twitter:

For others there was no debate at all.

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