The man who a Spanaway store clerk shot late Friday after a confrontation over whether he was shoplifting was leaving the store when he was killed, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
Monday, after investigators reviewed surveillance footage from the Pacific Quick Stop, the clerk was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and booked into the Pierce County Jail in the death of Jakeel Mason, 21.
The clerk, a 31-year-old Auburn resident, is expected to be charged Tuesday (March 29).
Investigators initially declined to arrest the clerk while they determined whether the shooting was self-defense. A recording of the incident appears to show otherwise.
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“After reviewing the evidence, it appears that the victim was never a threat,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. “He was leaving the store when he was shot twice in the back and there was a clear distance between them.”
Authorities gave this account of the incident:
The trouble started about 9:40 p.m. when a man allegedly tried to steal items from the store at 16618 Pacific Ave. S.
The clerk confronted him with his gun out and got into an argument with Mason. At some point, the clerk punched Mason in the face and demanded he leave the business.
As Mason was leaving, the clerk allegedly shot him twice.
Detectives said Mason did not appear to be armed and did not strike the clerk.
This is the second shooting in the Pacific Quick Shop in just over a month.
On Feb. 18, the clerk’s wife was working when she was shot during an attempted armed robbery. While getting cash from the till, the woman pulled her gun on the robber and both fired simultaneously.
The clerk was shot in the stomach. The bandit was unharmed and arrested at a motel.
Detectives said the shootings Feb. 18 and Friday are not related.
Mason had a criminal history prior to Friday’s incident, records show.
He pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment in 2014 for picking up a 6-year-old girl outside her Parkland house and trying to abduct her. The girl kicked and screamed and was able to escape.
Mason was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
He was convicted in 2015 of attempted second-degree burglary for an incident in Spanway.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653