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Charges filed against woman who shot at Black shoplifter

Anthony Harris, 46 charged with shoplifting (Photo Source: Auburn Hills Police Department.
Anthony Harris, 46 charged with shoplifting (Photo Source: Auburn Hills Police Department.

A Detroit woman with a conceal and carry permit got a little too carried away at a local Home Depot. On Oct. 6, 2015, Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez saw Home Depot employees chasing a pair of shoplifters across the parking lot.  Although she was not involved in the altercation, she took matters into her own hands and pulled out a 9mm handgun. She then began firing at the fleeing suspects. Her shots hit the shoplifters’ 2015 Jeep and blew out a tire. No one was hurt in the one-sided gunfight and since then the suspects were arrested trying to steal an estimated $1K in merchandise from the store.

For some pro-gun owners, the actions of Duva-Rodriguez were deemed heroic in trying to stop a shoplifter. The police, however, took a much different view on her actions. She was arrested today and charged with reckless use, handling or discharge of a firearm, a misdemeanor, and faces 90 days in jail and a potential fine.

Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper brought the charges against Duva-Rodriguez stating, “If this is proven, I find it very disturbing that someone would take out their gun in a busy parking lot and shoot at the tires of a passing car. Once fired, the bullet could have easily ricocheted or fragmented and injured or killed someone else. It would have been much more helpful for her to take out her cellphone and shoot pictures of the shoplifter’s license plate.”

Steven Schwartz, Duva-Rodriguez’s attorney, called her an “upstanding young woman” and disagrees with the charges. Schwartz stated, “It’s just an unfortunate situation. Somebody trying to be a good Samaritan [made] a split-second decision that may be questioned after. I know there’s a big debate going on with gun control versus the Second Amendment. There are two sides and I think that’s probably what’s behind this. Fortunately nobody was injured. There was never an intent to injure anybody but here we are with this big story.”

But it was not the duty of Duva-Rodriguez to defend Home Depot merchandise with her gun. A conceal and carry permit is for defending your life or home, neither of which were threatened in the case of Duva-Rodriguez.  Under the Obama presidency hand gun permits went from 4.6 million in 2007 to a staggering 12.8 million issued so far in 2015. Gun permits for women increased by 270% and for men by 156%.

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