Man Reportedly Harassing People Waiting In Line To Buy Sneakers Is Shot And Killed By Armed Customer

In this country we are allowed a trial. Where did this armed man receive permission to make himself judge, jury, and executioner of the alleged robber? Graphic @SneakerFiles

In this country we are allowed a trial. Where did this armed man receive permission to make himself judge, jury, and executioner of the alleged robber? Graphic @SneakerFiles

Early Saturday morning in Atlanta, as dozens stood in line for the chance to purchase a pair of coveted exclusive LeBron James sneakers, an anonymous man was said to be harassing people. One man in line had enough, pulled out his gun, and shot him… fatally. The man then got back in line to wait for the sneakers.

It was only 5:30 am when police responded to reports of the shooting. Witnesses said the deceased was an alleged robber, and that the shooting was self-defense. One witness standing in line when the incident occurred said:

“He [the shooter] really stood up for all of us. I salute the homie that did that.”

Another witness said:

“Sounds like he brought it on himself.”

While the sneaker aficionados seem to feel the alleged robber got what was coming to him, especially considering that they stayed in line waiting for the sneakers despite the shooting, it is unclear if the man had actually robbed or attempted to rob anyone. The police say they are still investigating the incident, however, and have not charged anyone, categorizing the shooting to be self-defense for now.

But ‘self-defense’ would suggest that the man killed had presented a danger to the customers waiting in line. Although the witnesses seem to feel the shooting was justified, no one said anything about whether or not the man actually presented a danger to anything other than their wallets.

When I last checked, in this country we are allowed to a trial by a jury of our peers in order to determine our guilt or innocence. If convicted of a felony, we could be sentenced to probation, maybe made to pay some fines. Possibly we might find ourselves incarcerated for a period of months or even years. However, among the research conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, convictions for robbery, as the worst offense committed, do not result in the death penalty.

So, from where did this anonymous armed man receive permission to make himself the judge, jury, and executioner of this alleged robber?

From our gun culture, of course. If the alleged robber was, in fact, presenting a physical danger to the customers waiting in line, could he not have been taken down with a non-fatal shot? Could he, the shooter, have been neutralized with a shot to the knee? Was it necessary to kill him?

No, it was not. Yet the shooter was able to kill a man, then get back in line for a pair of sneakers, as if he had not just ended someone’s life. It is this callousness that perturbs me more than anything else.