Reporting Andrea Menniti
LODI (CBS13) – A Lodi store owner was arrested for shooting an alleged beer thief Tuesday evening, according to officials.
Now, that split second decision has landed Tokay Liquors owner Gurminder Parmar behind bars.
“The owner of the store immediately aimed the weapon at the person and shot one time at him,” said Lodi Police Officer Jim Pendergast.
Police say Parmar shot 21-year-old suspect Christopher Driggers, an unarmed thief trying to get away with a case of beer Tuesday night.
“After, after he got the beer he just ran out the store. That’s when this cashier decided to shoot at him,” said Pendergast.
Parmar’s wife says beer thieves target the mom and pop store almost weekly and the only reason her husband had a gun is because he recently came face to face with armed robbers.
“Three people came in and tried to rob him at gunpoint after that he decided to buy a gun for self defense,” said Parmar’s wife.
Even though police say there’s nothing to suggest the beer thief was armed or threatened the store owner, Parmar’s wife defends him for pulling the trigger.
“He told me he thinks that guy had some weapon with him, that’s why he shot him,” said Parmar’s wife.
Moments after the shooting a customer inside the store called for help.
Police found the beer thief with a bullet wound to the shoulder still running away a few blocks from the scene.
Back at the store police cuffed the owner.
“He was visibly shaken, he was nervous, upset,” said Pendergast.
Now Parmar is locked up for firing a single shot and facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
“Today, I’m very upset,” said Parmar’s wife.
However, police have not arrested the beer thief; it’s up to the district attorney to file theft charges.