Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Toaster Pastries: $2.99. A 500-pack of Q-Tips Cotton Swabs: $3.99. Gunfire on the streets of Azle over shoplifting groceries: priceless.
Several shoppers at the Albertsons Grocery store in Azle called 911 shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday claiming a man fired a small-caliber revolver at a car full of fleeing robbery suspects.
The man reportedly fired one shot, puncturing the driver’s side, rear tire of the suspects’ getaway car before sliding behind the wheel of his pickup and engaging in a short pursuit.
Police did not identify the shooter, though he was described as a valid concealed handgun licence (CHL) holder.
According to Azle Police Chief Steve Myers, the incident started inside the grocery store where staff members noticed a customer, later identified as Kyle Scott, 22, who appeared to be attempting to steal merchandise.
When Scott left the store, staff members confronted him, at which point he ran to a car waiting with three other people inside, Myers said.
Another customer at the store, the CHL holder, happened upon the scene and displayed his weapon.
“The information we have at this point is that the suspects, as they fled, gave the indication that they were going to run over our CHL holder,” Myers said.
According to law enforcement, CHL holders are allowed to discharge a weapon if they do so while protecting themselves or another person.
Myers said the CHL holder is not charged with a crime, at this point.
In a residential area a short distance from the grocery store, the punctured tire wore off, according to reports, and the man driving, identified as Michael Reiser, 38, exited the vehicle and fled on foot.
The CHL holder was still behind the suspects’ vehicle when police arrived moments later and arrested the three individuals who remained inside, according to Myers.
After a short man hunt, Reiser was apprehended near an Allsup’s convenience store on the west side of Azle.
During the pursuit, police confirmed a number of items were discarded from the suspects’ vehicle, including a package of Pop Tarts Toaster Pastries and Q-tips.
Accompanying Scott and Reiser in the vehicle were Tami Mickey, 32, and Jennifer Jeffrey, 35, according to police. All four suspects remained in custody Wednesday afternoon and will likely be charged with robbery, though charges could be adjusted at a later date, Myers said.
Regarding the conduct of the CHL holder, Myers said state prosecutors will make a determination as to what charges, if any, might be appropriate.
Citizen shoots rear tire of fleeing shoplifting suspects
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