One Floridan gas station owner is in hot water after using extreme force while attempting to protect his store from a supposed beer thief.
Mehedeun Hasan, the 22-year-old gas station owner, was working alongside his 61-year-old father on July 17. Around midnight, 43-year-old Rennie Defoe Jr. walked into the store. The suspect allegedly attempted to steal beer and walk out of the store without paying.
Surveillance video shows Hasan rushing to a private area of the store and emerging armed with a 9mm firearm. He runs out of the store to confront the suspect. Defoe can be seen throwing the Natural Ice beer into his vehicle and shutting the door as Hasan approaches. Hasan intentionally points the shotgun at the suspect who ignores the threats and gets into the driver seat.
Clearly enraged, Hasan discharged his weapon as Defoe was reversing his vehicle to leave. Despite being shot, the suspect fled the area until he lost control of his vehicle near the East Main Street and Fish Hatchery Road intersection. Emergency medical responders promptly transported the beer thief to the Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. He suffered a gunshot wound to his chest and left arm which left him in critical condition.
The next morning, police reviewed the surveillance tapes and decided to arrest Hasan. Hasan has been charged with attempted second-degree murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle. While the suspect was clearly wrong in attempting to steal the $36 worth of beer, police believe the store owner’s actions were excessive.