The Wake County District Attorney’s office has announced no charges would be forthcoming for a woman who shot and killed a man in self-defense in the parking lot of a Raleigh, North Carolina, Food Lion grocery store. Video evidence of the shooting supported the woman’s claim and reinforced the decision not to charge the woman with a crime, District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told ABC11.
“We were fortunate to have access to various video. Also, there were witnesses in the area that were able to give a pretty clear image as to what happened here,” Freeman said in an interview with the station.
The shooting occurred shortly after 5 p.m. last Wednesday after what appeared to be a road rage incident in which 49-year-old Steven McLamb followed the woman into the parking lot, exited his vehicle and attempted to enter the unnamed woman’s vehicle. The woman then pulled out a handgun and fired, striking McLamb who later died at a hospital of his injuries. The shots immediately stopped the attack.
“Mr. McLamb was the aggressor,” Freeman said.
In a separate interview with news station WRAL, defense attorney Lee Turner noted N.C. Statute 14-51.2, which establishes the Castle Doctrine in North Carolina law, permits a person to defend themselves in their homes, or in this case, their vehicles, where they have a reasonable assumption of safety.
“It’s obvious this individual contributed to what occurred to him that day by his own actions,” Turner said.
On explaining the castle doctrine, Turner said, “Basically saying your home, your automobile, your workplace are considered to be an individual’s castle and you have a right to defend yourself inside those locations.”
The woman who was forced to defend herself had no criminal history and was carrying the firearm legally, Raleigh police confirmed.
“I think what’s really important here for people to understand is that provision in our law is not an invitation to vigilante justice, but it does allow when someone has a responsible fear for imminent death or bodily injury that you’re allowed to protect yourself,” Freeman said.