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When it comes to carrying for self-defense, good training, tactics, practice and the use of common sense go a long way to make a person harder to victimize and/or kill. Then there’s the case of the St. Paul, Minnesota good Samaritan with a carry permit who was shot and killed with his own gun after intervening in a liquor store shoplifting attempt.

It happened on December 27th when Kenneth Davis Jr. interceded to try to help the store stop a man trying to shoplift a bottle of vodka.

Davis brandished his gun after the shoplifter claimed to have a gun in his backpack. The shoplifter, Trinis Edwards, then left the store.

But minutes later, however, when Davis left the store, Edwards confronted him in the parking lot. The shoplifter sprayed Davis with pepper spray and then the two men scuffled.  Davis tried to produce his handgun from his jacket and failed.

Davis lost control of his handgun and it fell to the ground. Edwards came up with it and shot Davis to death.

KMSP has the story:

The suspect, identified on Monday as 49-year-old Trinis Derrell Edwards, is charged with murder for the deadly shooting at Big Discount Liquor on December 27.

Employees at the liquor store on Rice Street said Edwards had been in the store before when he was short of money. On the date in question, workers said Edwards had shown up and gotten into an argument with another customer, the victim, Kenneth Davis Jr.

Workers told police that Davis was protective of the store. Davis accused Edwards of concealing a bottle of vodka and took the bottle from him and demanded Edwards leave the store.

According to the charges, Edwards said he had a gun and started digging through his backpack. But, as it turned out, Davis was carrying a weapon himself, telling the victim that he had a “license” and “displayed” the weapon.

Police say surveillance video showed the two men move out to the parking lot where they started fighting. The charges state:

“Edwards and [Davis] eventually went to the sidewalk outside the store. Edwards appeared to threaten [Davis] with pepper spray, and the two men got into a heated exchange. Edwards grabbed [Davis’] shoulders. KD tried to remove his handgun from his jacket while wrestling with Edwards. [Davis’] handgun fell to the ground. When KD reached to retrieve the gun, Edwards pushed [Davis] away from the gun into the parking lot.”

With the gun on the ground. Edwards was able to pick it up and shoot Davis twice, the charges state.

A good skill set and good tactics, coupled with the judicious use of common sense will help keep you alive and well. Getting involved in an altercation over a bottle of booze — particularly one that belongs to someone else — is a needless risk.

Thinking that you’re carrying a magic talisman in your coat pocket and that you’ll rise to the occasion in a deadly force encounter instead of defaulting to your level of training is fool’s play.

The only silver lining here is that some folks may benefit from the hard lessons gleaned from Mr. Davis’ death. Not the least of which is that interjecting yourself and your firearm in non-life threatening situations is a recipe for disaster.

Also, parking lots are one of the three places you’re most likely to face victimization in your everyday life. Did Mr. Davis think that the shoplifter was just going to go away, no longer butthurt after Davis brandished his gun and told the sticky-fingered thief to leave?

I might have reluctantly drawn down on a shoplifter threatening to present a firearm as well. After all, I don’t want to find myself or my family members serving as a backstop for errant rounds from a bad guy. If that had happened, cops would have been called to take a report. After all, the first person to dial 9-1-1 is often presumed the victim.

At the same time, I don’t know any savvy CCW holders who would step into the role of unpaid armed store security just because it’s a righteous and noble thing to do. The CCW holder would be risking a lot, including liability and death and just to keep some knucklehead from stealing a bottle of Popov.

Sadly, Mr. Davis made a range of mistakes that fateful day and paid the ultimate price.  Let’s hope his death serves to save the lives of others who might find themselves in a similar situation.

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  1. You just don’t know. You don’t know if someone is carrying a firearm or even pepper spray. Be polite, do your business, and then get out. Only be a hero to protect you and yours from significant injury or death.

    • Sounds like he imagined he was living an action-movie script, and he was presented with an easy ‘hero-moment’. The media would come & ask if he was frightened – “no, I had my CC permit & I’m here to protect the rule of law. Perp saw my gat and wisely backed down”.

      Then life went sideways….

  2. To those you think I’m yer sheepdog? I’m not. My gat is for me & mine,women,children and whom I deem neccessary for protection. I will never ever pull a gat over a bottle of booze…

    • I am not the sheep.
      I am not the sheepdog.
      I am not the wolf.

      I’m the jackass, standing over in the corner of the field, that will destroy you if you come at me.

    • I really dislike sheepdog terminology. Sheep dogs work for the shepherd and they hope to get a bit of mutton in return for their service. They do not protect the sheep for the benefit of the sheep.

  3. Don’t intervene as a third party in a mere shoplifting – especially don’t escalate to threat of deadly force as a third party in a mere shoplifting.

    If you choose to do so (despite the issues regarding justifiable use of deadly force in such circumstances), you’d better have your situational awareness game face on.

    • Chip Bennett,

      The general populace fails to understand just how depraved many of the people are who are walking among us. Such depraved people want what they want–perhaps even feeling “entitled” to it even though they are not. Furthermore, such depraved people are often ultra-mega-hypersensitive to any real or imagined “slight”, “disrespect”, and/or rebuke and in response will come for blood at best and your very life at worst.

      Note that it is nearly impossible to avoid some sort of harm if you cross such a person. At best you can drive them away and you are left with the emotional injury that accompanies such a dangerous encounter. Getting worse, you survive the encounter without any significant physical injuries and yet you go through a frightening legal process with responding police. At the absolute worst that depraved person inflicts serious physical injuries upon you or even causes your untimely demise.

      Act accordingly (with great caution and, if legally justified, deadly force) if you encounter such a person.

      Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and the above is my opinion, NOT legal advice.

      • we can safely say that alcohol was involved.
        good chance that that handle of rikalof was for maintenance, suggesting that he ~really~ needed it.
        either or both combatants may have been pre- lubed as well.
        raising the ire of a regular is a recipe for future confrontations.

  4. Not to discount the difficult situation this man may have been in, but I think it’s important some folks remember we carry a gun as a defensive tool. Again, I wasn’t in the situation myself but I have a hard time pulling a gun out over some guy stealing a bottle of booze and putting out “threats” in the process.

    • Well, if a thief says he has a gun, I don’t think I’d be waiting for him to point it at someone and start shooting. Getting mine into play first would be by far the best way to make sure nobody gets shot (and by nobody, I mostly mean me).

      And if he leaves the scene before I do (something I’d take care to prevent), I’d be keeping my head on a swivel until I was well clear of the place.

      At least, that’s the general idea as far as I’ve thought it through.

      • What you just typed is what happened – not counting the part where you say you won’t let him leave before you, whatever that means. Either you’re going to bolt from a guy you’ve threatened with your gun (after he says HE has a gun), or you’re gonna hold him there until the cops arrive. Good luck in either scenario. I would suggest thinking it through further.

      • Ing the cowardly pud would piss his pants in *any* DGU scenario. As he’ll find out soon, he’s simply holding some guns until TSHTF and real operators come and take them from him. I can’t stress enough what a 🤡 and fool he is. Ditch this poseur instantly!

  5. I’d be hard pressed to intervene if a stranger was at risk, let alone a $10 bottle of vodka.

    Family, close friends, me, probably my pets, and after that, you shoulda armed yourself.

    In that shit hole, they probably will drop all charges against he perp and name a street after him.

  6. If you feel compelled to pull it, you’d better be prepared to use it or just walk away!

  7. I might have chosen to video the encounter. That could be a deterrent. I might have called 911 if the incident started to escalate.

  8. Been in similar situations, without firearms. You don’t let the perp walk through a door that you plan to use later, and allow him to set up an ambush. FFS – I’d probably be dead too, if I were that dumb. At the VERY LEAST, you follow to the door, and WATCH HIM to see what he’s going to do. Better yet, you go through the door, and watch to see where he goes. Actually, the last time I found myself in a similar situation, I walked outside, to the edge of the business’ property, and watched the SOB drive out of town, to the next intersection, where he turned and headed north. THEN I returned to the store, and provided that information to the police who were on the phone with the night shift cashier.

    Oh yeah – “tried to remove his handgun from his jacket “. You can afford a gun, but not a good holster?

      • Not a snubby at all, police recovered two . 40 casings at crime scene. This was another black on black murder, and yes the piece of shit county prosecutor’s office will probably push for reduced charges, cuz feels. I doubt the victim actually had a carry permit, as it sounds from one of his eighteen kids he just “got out” this past summer. The North End is a really great area… to stay the eff away from. It’s lucky they were able to spot the perp on camera, because ain’t nobody seen nuffin.

        • the fotay snagging on it’s way out of the pocket would be the argument for a dehorned carry piece.
          i mean, any brass found you want to have been the one to put it there.

    • Paul,

      You don’t let the perp walk through a door that you plan to use later, and allow him to set up an ambush.

      ^^^^^ THIS!!! ^^^^^

      Plus eleventy billion!

    • Oh yeah – “tried to remove his handgun from his jacket “. You can afford a gun, but not a good holster?

      some people have a jacket with a pocket inside designed for concealed carry. I got one for Christmas, a Rothco concealed carry soft shell tactical jacket.

  9. The only bit of goodness that came out of it is an increasing awareness among the criminal class is that they might not be the only people with a gun, which is a good deterrant. Other than that, all kinds of wrong written all over this situation

  10. Permit guy should have kept his distance from the perp, called the police and not placed himself in harm’s way. In this case all permit guy needed to be was a witness and nothing more unless the situation called for it and by all accounts it did not.

  11. “Also, parking lots are one of the three places you’re most likely to face victimization in your everyday life. ”
    So, what are the other two? How about top five?
    My guess would include …your home, and your work place.

  12. I give this advice based on many years of experience. Keep a knife handy and use it if someone is wrestling with you and you have a gun on your person. Guns are not an ideal weapon in a circumstance where you’re already Hands-On with a person. With a little practice you can demonstrate what I like to call the number one rule of knife fighting, the guy holding the handle wins.

  13. If Minnesota doesn’t have any kind of Castle Doctrine it may have been highly illegal for Davis to make a threat of the man’s life (brandish his gun) over a piece of property. Especially if the thief wasn’t displaying his own gun at the time. It also sounds like Davis caught Edwards stealing and not holding up the store clerk to empty the register. This isn’t the wild west, you have to be careful especially in a blue state. You are not a police officer, you are a civilian with a gun.

  14. Well Davis should have had his gunm in hand when he walked out the door and shot Trinnis for not stealing him a bottle too.

  15. Crime, violence, and crazy is like email spam – no matter what you do eventually some of its going to show up in your “inbox” and you will need to deal with it.

  16. Take his picture. Be a good witness. Watch your six. Don’t brag about your gun, permit, etc. Go home alive.
    My EDC is there to protect me, my loved one(s) and my castle, not a liquor store or bottle of vodka. Not sure I would even use it to protect my anti gun in-laws, since they don’t want me to have it.

    • So you wouldn’t protect your husband’s mom and dad because they don’t share your perspective on guns?

      • You’ll be divorced soon…,

        There is not enough space to provide a complete response. Here are some highlights:

        1) OldProf49 married his/her spouse, not his/her spouse’s in-laws. He/she has no significant obligation to in-laws.

        2) OldProf49’s in-laws refuse to provide their own personal self-defense. Why shouldn’t they enjoy or suffer the consequences of their choice? Why should OldProf49 take-on the significant civil and criminal liability involved with protecting them when they refused to do so?

        3) Why should OldProf49 go out of his/her way to help in-laws who actively want to condemn him/her and his/her family to serious harm or death at the hands of a violent criminal?

      • You’ll be divorced soon…,

        I can summarize OldProf49’s situation with a simple parallel scenario where:
        a) Walking out on frozen lakes represents going through life.
        b) Falling through ice and drowning represents criminal attacks.

        The in-laws walk onto every frozen lake they encounter without flotation vests because wearing flotation vests is “icky”. If the in-laws fall through thin ice and will drown within minutes unless someone rescues them, is OldProf49 obligated to venture out onto the ice to try and save them from their decision to walk onto the ice without adequate protective equipment?

        My answer is an emphatic no–especially when the in-laws actively tried to prevent OldProf49 from being able to wear a flotation vest of his/her own.

        • This is a stupid argument. The ice you refer to in your analogy is life. We all have to walk it. If they fall in you help them.

  17. Defending the store, its employees and customers is the job of the store staff, not of a customer except in the worst situation which would be to defend someone’s life. The staff knew Edwards. They could have handled him by permanently banning him from the store and calling police to prosecute him for trespassing if he came back. It would be worth keeping a store gun, out of sight but accessible to the staff, in case Edwards tried to retaliate.

  18. They’re my wife’s sister and husband. And, no I’m not sure I would risk my life or liberty for them. They continually make comments about how guns should be outlawed, people should rely on the police to protect them, more guns just means more crime, violence, etc. Their rhetoric and opinion of the Second Amendment come from MSNBC and CNN. I’m inclined to let them protect themselves…or not. I am not my in-laws keeper.

  19. This is a case to study. Lessons learned here were with his life. Learn from his mistakes.

  20. A lot of you guys are projecting that the deceased wheeled out at the first sign of theft. I doubt thats how it happened. I am will to bet the deceased saw the guy thieving and said “wtf are you doing?” purely out of reaction not intending on ever needing a a gun at this point.

    I do agree with others after that 1) perp should have been held (at gun point even) until police arrived. 2) Or he should have followed perp to prevent any ambush. Situational awareness is the key here, something that your carry permit doesnt require…


  22. Why the hell would anyone risk injury to prevent some alko from running off with a bottle of vodka?

    And some of those skid row alcoholics would gladly kill a person for $20 and not even remember it the next day.

  23. More than one study has shown that contrary to Far Right Myths and bravado penis waving getting into a shootout or resisting in a robbery usually gets the good guy killed not the other way around.

    Remember too that most normal people have never shot anyone so they often hesitate just a fraction of a second before they pull the trigger especially if they have brain one and know about all the law suits that will be leveled against them even if they are exonerated by the cops and not charged with a crime. This does not prevent you from being sued for millions. All this often causes a normal person to hesitate plus the fact that killing someone is not a natural act either. The result is that the bad guy does not hesitate because he cares nothing for his own life and zero for yours and will kill you lightening quick and then laugh about it.

    I would say unless you live in the uncivilized sate of Texas where they would give you a medal for shooting a starving 6 year old kid for stealing a loaf of bread you are better off staying out of gun fights or shootings if at all possible.

    • Man. I’m gob smacked. So much stupid in one short statement.

      I know that he’s mentally ill, but can’t someone adjust his meds so this doesn’t happen again?

      • Since getting kicked out of mom’s basement and hiding out in the gym laundry of his old high school, he’s on his own now. I guess since he’s not mooching off of mom’s medical coverage anymore and he needs to be responsible for himself, we can give him some credit for coming up with a substitute for his lithium, even if the best thing he has found so far is Tide Pods…just gotta find the right dosing.

      • You stalk Dacian relentlessly, and then claim HE’s the one with the mental illness. You really are delusional. Maybe it’s PTSD from all the combat you didn’t see. Take stock of your life and make the changes you so desperately require, dotard!

    • .
      Having a firegunm has saved my life more then once.
      I have no idea about other people’s fails, it would be my guess they didn’t have the drop on the bad guys.

      • Possum since basically you are a decent type of guy I usually tolerate a lot from you. And in this case I do believe you. I might also say that I did not mean that you should not carry a gun for protection, I do so myself. But what I am saying is that when you do carry a gun be aware of the fact that if you can avoid a fight you are way better off financially, physically and mentally. A good example was the case of the Subway Vigilante, Bernard Goetz. He got sued for millions and lost.

        If someone stuck a gun in my face I would hand over my wallet. And even if he walked way and I could shoot him in the back I would “not” do so because the ramifications of doing so is not worth the loss of a wallet. I would report the crime and take down any information especially a license plate number.

        • Hey Darcian, you’re on the right track – you seem ALMOST rational today. Try decreasing to two Tide Pods and maybe a half a capful of scent booster and see how that goes. Oh, by the by, you are bragging about being “tolerant” of a Capitalvanian marsupial? Pretty sure he’s just another imaginary figment of the vivid imagination of one of us “far-right ignorant American gun crazies “

  24. First off, a simple shoplifting of a bottle of cheap booze is no reason to intervene. Call 911, be a witness, allow the staff to do their job. No reason to take the risk for a few bucks worth of hooch. Heck, if they guy was desperate enough to try stealing a bottle of crap vodka, I might have paid for it myself and recomended he seek help for his problem. I’ve done such before.
    Secondly, there is absolutely no reason to pull a weapon if there isn’t a clear and immedeate danger to life and safety. Call 911 and let the fool walk. Your CC permit isn’t a badge. You aren’t a cop.
    Lastly, waving a gun around is both dangerous and stupid. Unless it is absolutely a life or death situation, no one should know you have a weapon. If there is a clear danger of harm or death, do what you must to preserve the lives of yourself and those you are protecting. Not the time to wave a firearm around and try to open negotiations.

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