Chicago grocery store clerk kills shoplifter

Second time since 2002 that a suspected criminal has been killed at store


Waukegan police confirmed Thursday that this week's fatal shooting of an alleged robber by a grocery store clerk is the second time in recent years a clerk has been linked to the death of a suspected criminal at the People's Market.

In September 2002, a store clerk struck an alleged shoplifter over the head with a mallet, resulting in the death of Jonathan Wise, 39, of Zion. Prosecutors leveled a second-degree murder charge against Hasan Asad of Beach Park, but a Lake County jury acquitted him a few months later, authorities said.

In Monday night's incident, Brandon Starks, 20, was fatally shot by a store clerk with a pistol as he fled on a bicycle after allegedly holding up the store at 901 8th St. with a pellet gun, authorities said. Authorities declined to identify the clerk, citing an ongoing investigation that will determine whether charges will be filed.

Police said Asad was not the clerk who shot Starks.

Police Chief William Biang said information about the 2002 incident would be forwarded to prosecutors.

"We're looking at all different factors that play into the activity at the store, and the history of what's been going on," Biang said.

Police also have been studying video from the store's security cameras that captured some of the events leading up to the shooting. The clerk followed Starks, a convicted burglar who had been released from prison on parole a month ago, out the store and shot him as Starks fled on a bicycle, authorities said.

Lake County Coroner Richard Keller said at least two bullets hit Starks in the side of his torso.

Prosecutors said it could be several days before they decide whether to charge the clerk. Legal experts have said prosecutors will have to assess whether the clerk acted in self-defense or took justice into his own hands.