Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Teen Returning Replica Gun to Sporting Store Shot Dead By Security Guard

A Washington teen was fatally shot while trying to return a malfunctioning airsoft gun to a sporting goods store.

17-year-old Hazrat Ali Rohani was at a Big 5 store in Renton, Washington, when he was shot to death by Aaron Myers, an off-duty security guard, who believed the teen was planning on robbing the business with a real firearm.

Myers said he was not working at the time of the incident, however, due to rising crime in the area, had offered to keep watch.

big 5
The incident took place in the parking lot of a Big Five Sporting Goods store in Renton, Washington

According to officials, however, security footage obtained from the store contradicted the man’s statements, which led to his arrest. Authorities also noted that Myers worked as a security guard and not as a law enforcement officer, meaning he ‘has not been trained on how to prevent crime safely.’

Due to lax weapons laws, many people in the U.S. often assume they can use their weapons for self-defense. However, that is not the case.

Officials said Myers was allegedly waiting for his son to finish his martial arts class at the studio next to the sporting goods store when three teens walked past his vehicle. One of them was Rohani, who was carrying a replica gun that Myers believed to be a Glock pistol.

rohani
17-year-old Hazrat Ali Rohani was returning a malfunctioning replica gun when he was shot and killed

According to authorities, Myers then pointed his firearm – the one issued to him for his job as a security guard – at the teens and demanded they put their hands up. The group of teenagers immediately complied and explained that the weapon they were carrying was not real.

Despite that, Myers fired multiple shots, which fatally struck Rohani. He then continued to shoot at the teen, claiming that he had no choice as one of the teen’s friends was reaching for another weapon on Rohani’s waistband.

A group of office deupities were carrying out a training exercise in the viciniity when they heard the gunfire. They immediately rushed to the scene and provided first aid to Rohani, however, he died shortly afterward due to his injuries.

The remaining teens explained to the officers that they were trying to return a malfunctioning airsoft gun to the sporting goods store when Myers opened fire at them.

Leesa Manion, the King county prosecutor said Myers ‘took it upon himself to overwatch the parking lot’ despite the fact the he worked only as a security guard and not as a law enforcement officer.

big five
A small memorial can be seen outside the sporting goods store after the teen was fatally shot by an off-duty security guard

Manion added that instead of dialing 911 or waiting for evidence that could ‘confirm his assumption’ that the teens were carrying a real firearm, he immediately jumped in as he had ‘a duty to intervene.’

Myers faces two felony counts of assault and second-degree murder. If convicted as charged, he could receive a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.
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