Retailer Proprietor Charged With Murdering 14-12 months-Previous He Wrongly Accused of Stealing


A South Carolina comfort retailer proprietor has been charged with homicide within the deadly capturing of a 14-year-old Black boy whom he falsely accused of shoplifting, chased and shot within the again on Sunday evening, the authorities stated.

The shop proprietor, Rick Chow, 58, who was charged on Monday, believed that the boy, Cyrus Carmack-Belton, had stolen 4 water bottles from his Xpress Mart Shell Station in Columbia, the Richland County Sheriff’s Workplace stated.

However Sheriff Leon Lott stated at a information convention on Monday that Cyrus had not shoplifted and described the capturing as unjustified.

Nonetheless, at about 8 p.m., Mr. Chow and his son, whose identify has not been launched by the sheriff’s workplace, chased Cyrus towards a close-by condo complicated, the place {the teenager} fell down and obtained again up, Sheriff Lott stated.

Mr. Chow’s son noticed that Cyrus had a gun, Sheriff Lott stated, and the shop proprietor shot Cyrus within the again, killing him, the sheriff stated. There isn’t a proof that Cyrus pointed a gun on the retailer proprietor or his son, the authorities stated.

Describing the capturing as “disturbing,” Sheriff Lott stated that even when Cyrus had shoplifted the water bottles, “that’s not one thing you shoot anyone over, a lot much less a 14-year-old.”

Mr. Chow’s lawyer didn’t instantly reply to calls in search of touch upon Tuesday evening.

The capturing has prompted outrage in Columbia, the place dozens of protesters met at Mr. Chow’s retailer on Monday. Later that evening, the shop was vandalized and looted, based on the sheriff, who urged protesters to be peaceable. Images of the shop confirmed graffiti on the constructing and yellow crime scene tape round it. Among the many spray painted messages had been “RIP King Cyrus,” and his age, 14.

Troy Belton, Cyrus’s father, stated in a short telephone interview about his son: “Should you had been round him, you’ll have cherished him.”

Within the Columbia case, the Richland County coroner, Naida Rutherford, stated on the information convention that there was no indication that Cyrus “was combating with the shop proprietor previous to him working out of the shop.”

Cyrus had no wounds on his arms or scratches, she stated. His solely accidents had been an abrasion from the autumn and the gunshot wound on his decrease proper again, Ms. Rutherford stated.

Mr. Chow, who legally owned the pistol used through the capturing, had prior to now handled actual shoplifting incidents and confrontations, the sheriff stated.

However, Sheriff Lott added, “you don’t do what occurred” on Sunday evening, referring to the capturing.

State Consultant Todd Rutherford, a Democrat who can be representing Cyrus’s household, stated by telephone that Cyrus, who was identified for at all times having a smile, “did nothing fallacious” and had been “chased down like an animal.”

He stated he was not sure why Cyrus had a gun.

“It’s doable he felt he wanted it to guard himself,” Mr. Rutherford stated. “However within the face of confrontation, he didn’t use it.”

On Fb, Mr. Rutherford wrote that what had occurred to Cyrus was not an accident however “one thing that the Black group has skilled for generations: being racially profiled, then shot down on the street like a canine.”

@Sheelagh McNeill contributed analysis.


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