Paging David Frum, who mocks the idea that anyone might use a gun in self-defense
New details are emerging in the investigation into a shooting at a Dallas County dollar store that ended with a gunman dead at the hands of a customer who decided to take action.
Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson has identified the gunman as Kevin McLaughlin from Orrville and the customer as Marlo Ellis, 37, also from Orrville.
The fatal shooting happened around 12:45 p.m. Thursday at the Dollar General on Highway 22 in Orrville.
Officials say McLaughlin walked into the store waving a gun in the air and forced a cashier and Ellis at gunpoint towards a break room. At that point, Ellis pulled out a concealed weapon and shot McLaughlin once in the chest.
“He escorted a customer who was trying to leave the store and a cashier toward a break room. The cashier went in first and the customer went in behind her, and the individual had the gun on the customer and the customer had a pistol concealed in a holster,” Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman said. “And when the customer got to the door, he turned around and shot the individual.”
McLaughlin was pronounced dead at the scene. The tense ordeal played out in less than five minutes, police said.
Other customers and delivery men were inside the store at the time of the incident. Several customers making their way into the store saw McLaughlin waving a gun and ran away.
The Dollar General store was closed Thursday afternoon following the shooting. A sign on the front door indicated it would reopen Friday.
There was another sign on the doors of the business stating that open carry of a weapon was not allowed inside the store. According to the sheriff, the Ellis’ gun was concealed and inside a holster. His investigators are confirming whether Ellis has a valid concealed carry permit.
“The deceased individual had his in his hand, waving it. The customer actually had one in a holster covered up. We’re in the process of checking on permits and all of that. To have a gun concealed, you need a permit. To carry it open carry, you don’t. But you have a sign in a place of business, that’s letting you know that the people inside that place of business do not want guns in there,” the sheriff said.
The investigation is ongoing and detectives are interviewing everyone who was present at the time of the shooting and reviewing surveillance footage of the incident. The security video has not yet been released but the sheriff said it would be “forthcoming.”
No other customers or employees were injured.
Sheriff Huffman says his department’s findings would be turned over to a grand jury for review. He says the incident is currently being called a death investigation.“You have one individual waving a gun and you have another one who shoots the one waving the gun. Some people say that’s justifiable. Then you’re going to have some who says it’s not. I think we need to get all of the information we can get from everybody and then go forward from there,” the sheriff said in an interview.