Clerk booked for murder after deadly shooting at Spanaway store

Store clerk Min Sik Kim (KOMO photo)

SPANAWAY, Wash. - A Spanaway convenience store clerk who shot and killed a shoplifter Friday night has been arrested and booked into jail for investigation of second-degree murder, officials said.

The arrest came after Pierce County sheriff's investigators reviewed surveillance video of the incident, which unfolded at about 9:40 p.m. after the shoplifter and another suspect showed up at the Pacific Quick Stop at 16618 Pacific Ave. S. in Spanaway.

According to Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, the clerk and the shoplifter were involved in a verbal and physical altercation inside the store after the shoplifter was asked to leave the business. During the altercation the clerk displayed a firearm and shot the shoplifter, who died from his wounds.

The shooting took place at the same convenience store where the clerk's wife was shot in the stomach by a robber in February as she worked behind the counter, police records show. The wife is expected to recover from her wounds but is still unable to work.

Troyer said it doesn't appear that the shooting of the clerk's wife and last week's shooting of the shoplifter are directly related.

The shoplifter shot and killed Friday was later identified as Jakeel Mason, 21, of Spanaway. Jail records identify the clerk as Min Sik Kim, 30.

Mason made headlines in 2014 when a he was accused of trying to kidnap a 6-year-old Parkland girl. In that case, the girl was walking home when she said two men "came out of nowhere and tried to grab her."

The little girl fought the men off and was able to get away, and police soon arrested Mason in connection to the crime. Court records show he was convicted of unlawful imprisonment and sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Troyer said it appears from the surveillance video that the confrontation between the clerk and the shoplifter was over when the clerk opened fire.

But in an interview with KOMO News, Kim said the shooting was in self-defense.

Kim says the confrontation unfolded when one of the suspects, who had been shoplifting and harassing customers, went to the cash register. Kim says he pulled out a gun, and at first it looked like the man would surrender. Instead he knocked Kim to the ground and grabbed for his gun, Kim said.

"It was going to be either me or him, and I don't want to leave my family behind," Kim said. So he pulled the trigger, killing the suspect, who stumbled and fell in the doorway, Kim said.

At that point, the second suspect immediately sat down and waited for police to arrive. He was not arrested and is cooperating with police during the investigation, Troyer said earlier.

The entire incident was captured on the store's security camera.

Records show this is the third time in just as many months that thieves have targeted the store.

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