A would-be robber is dead after the owner of a Kwik Kash in Odessa, Texas, exchanged gunfire with the suspect during a blatant broad day robbery in a busy area last week.
It was just before 1 p.m. on May 29 when the business owner, 59-year-old James Avant, was in his vehicle in the parking lot outside of the Kwik Kash. Avant had a bank bag and was getting ready to go inside when he was approached by a male who sprayed him with pepper spray and repeatedly hit him in the face before taking the money bag, News West 9 reported.
The suspect then got on a bicycle and attempted to flee, but Avant followed him. At that point, the suspect then turned around and pulled out a gun. But Avant was armed as well and an exchange of gunfire ensued. Avant was not struck, but the suspect was.
When police arrived on the scene, they found the suspect behind the shopping strip. He was pronounced dead at the scene and later identified as 37-year-old Andrew Mayweather. Authorities did not say where or how many times Mayweather was shot, but an autopsy, which could take up to three months, will be performed.
No charges have been filed against Avant at this time, but Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland told the Odessa American that, although he can’t comment specifically on this case, judging by similar cases and the current known details, charges aren’t likely to come for Avant.
Bland explained that while it might not always be the best choice to pursue a suspect, you’re not legally obligated to back down when someone steals or is attempting to steal from you either. Victims are protected under the state’s stand your ground laws, but still, Bland said, “we don’t want people getting shot.”
Bland said it’s unusual for the victim of a crime to face charges for defending themselves, but it all depends on the circumstances surrounding the incident as well.
The investigation is ongoing and, once completed, the case will be forwarded to the District Attorney to determine whether any charges are appropriate.