Virginia store employee faces multiple charges, jailed without bail after shooting robber

by WorldTribune Staff, April 2, 2020

An employee at a business in Arlington, Virginia was arrested after he confronted three people who allegedly broke into and attempted to rob the store. The employee, using a legally owned firearm, shot one of the suspects.

“Following consultation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the employee, Hamzeh Abushariah, 33, of Washington D.C. was charged with malicious wounding, reckless handling of a firearm and violation of a protective order,” police said.

Abushariah is being held without bail.

The suspects have yet to be charged. “Additional charges related to the breaking and entering are anticipated at a later date,” police said.

According to an Arlington County Police press release, a group of three suspects broke into a store on the 2400 block of Shirlington Road and began stealing cash and merchandise. Abushariah, who was in a backroom at the time, picked up a gun, opened a door into the store, and shot one of the suspects.

The employee then retreated, before going back into the store and firing another shot, police said.

The wounded suspect was a juvenile male. Police said he suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries. The two other suspects fled the scene before police arrived.

Benny Johnson of Turning Point USA tweeted: “Criminals are being released from jail due to Coronavirus but Americans are being locked up with no bail for practicing their 2nd Amendment Right. Three men tried to break into a store, the employee used his legally owned gun to defend himself & is being treated like a criminal.”

RedState columnist Bonchie wrote: “This is insanity. I realize the boy who was shot is a minor, but no one made him break a window and attempt to rob a store. The employee obviously felt threatened and exercised his constitutional rights. For the city to then immediately charge him with numerous crimes without even a thorough investigation is nuts. It’s even more insane that the prosecutor fought to not let bail be posted in this situation. I keep thinking there has to be more to this story, but all the local reports say there isn’t.

“But this is what Democratic governance produces. Virginians had a chance to shift course and didn’t. Now Ralph Northam and his liberal allies are running roughshod over gun owners, up to and including charging them with crimes for defending themselves.

“Hopefully, instances like this serve as a wake-up call and voters make some better choices in November.”

Meanwhile, as state and local governments were enacting forced lockdowns on Americans amid the coronavirus outbreak, gun sales exploded in March.

Gun retailers sold a record 2.5 million firearms last month, according to estimates from industry research firm Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF).

The FBI says it performed 3,740,688 background checks in its NICS database last month, over 1 million more background checks than it performed in March 2019.

Many states run background checks to test gun permit-holders, so background checks cannot be equated one-to-one to gun sales.

“Ordinarily, we will have a shock that will raise or lower the demand over several months or maybe a year, but not in a single month,” said Jurgen Brauer, SAAF’s chief economist. “So it is quite unprecedented.”

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