Police charge store owner who shot, killed man breaking into business

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they have arrested the store owner who shot and killed a man who broke into a Charlotte, North Carolina, business.

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Authorities said that they were responding to a breaking-and-entering call at the American Beauty and Garden Center when the business owner called 911, saying he was also responding to the store after seeing a robber inside through a security camera.

A few minutes later, the same man called 911 again and told the operator he had just shot someone at the business.

When they arrived, police found the male shooting victim, 20-year-old Justin Tyler Anderson, and the store owner behind the building.

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Paramedics pronounced Anderson dead at the scene. 

Police said they charged the store owner, 49-year-old Alan Brett Corder, with voluntary manslaughter.

They said officers arrested Corder at the business Thursday without incident.

Police surrounded the American Beauty Garden Center, which had glass shattered toward the front of the business.

Investigators said it appeared that Anderson broke into the business by smashing the front glass door. When the owner of the store arrived, Anderson ran out the front door and was then shot by the owner.

Police said Anderson then ran behind the building which is where officers found him.

The garden center that was targeted sells equipment for grow rooms according to WSOC-TV. It also sells equipment to extract CBD oil, which is associated with medical marijuana.

The store manager said the burglar wasn’t after money, he was trying to steal gear.

Nearby business owners were shocked.

"Personally, I would've just tried to scare him away,” said CJ Williams, who works nearby. “I don't know if I would've done all that and taken a life, but I understand you're trying to defend your business."

Former federal prosecutor Kathleen Nicolaides said the critical questions to determine whether the store owner would be charged included: Where was the business owner standing? Was he on his own private property in the store or was he on public property in the parking lot? Did he shoot an unarmed man?

“Will he be charged, because the law here in North Carolina is you cannot use deadly force to protect your property," Nicolaides, who now teaches at UNCC, said.

She said a person can shoot an intruder to protect his or her home, vehicle and your business if someone breaks in and threatens you.

However, she said this case was tricky because police said the store owner wasn't actually in his business when he killed the burglar.

Juries disagree with charges all the time, experts said. Nicolaides said trying to figure out if they would empathize with the store owner or the person who was killed is like trying to roll the dice.

Corder was transferred to the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office after his arrest.

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