No murder charge for California robber who fatally shot gas station clerk

Prosecutors said that because the suspect was shot at while fleeing the scene, his shooting back would be considered self-defence.

A man who fatally shot a Chevron station clerk during a robbery in Antioch, California, will not be facing murder charges, prosecutors for the case have said, arguing that because the suspect was shot at while fleeing, his shooting back would be considered self-defense.

The incident took place Saturday, November 26 while James Williams, 36, was working the early morning shift.

Ronald Jackson Jr., 20, and another suspect who has yet to be identified, reportedly entered the gas station at around 2 a.m. and pulled out a gun, according to KTVU.

Williams then allegedly pulled out a weapon of his own, following which the two suspects ran out of the store, dropping stolen goods as they did so.

The suspects were a good distance away when Williams shot and wounded Jackson, causing him to fall to the ground.

At this point, Williams continued shooting, which is when Jackson allegedly returned fire, killing Williams.

In a statement released on Thursday, the office of District Attorney Diana Becton said that they have "declined to file murder charges in this case solely on a legal and factual determination."

"In the eyes of the law, Mr. Williams' actions ceased to be self-defense when Mr. Williams pursued Mr. Jackson and the other suspect with a firearm – and continued to pursue Mr. Jackson after he shot him," she said. 

"The legal distinction is clear: when your property and life are being threatened, an individual is legally justified in using deadly force in self-defense," she continues. "However, once the threat of harm has dissipated, the victim of a property crime cannot then use deadly force to reclaim stolen property."

Becton did say however that the tragic death of Williams "will be a substantial factor in the DA’s position in asking for greater penalties in the sentencing of the defendants."

Williams's girlfriend and co-worker, Annette Matamoroz, was dumbfounded by the decision.

I totally disagree with this," she tearfully told NBC News on Thursday. "It is murder. It doesn't seem like murder; it is murder. What else could it be?"

Jackson has been charged with robbery, possession of stolen goods, and a firearm enhancement, according to the local police.


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