Home Depot employee killed while trying to stop a shoplifter in California

Home Depot employee killed while trying to stop a shoplifter in California

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A Home Depot employee was shot and killed on Tuesday while trying to stop a shoplifter in Pleasanton, California, authorities said.

The victim, 26-year-old Blake Mohs, was a loss prevention employee who was a well-known member of the community, the Pleasanton Police Department said in a statement.

“During the investigation, detectives determined Mohs confronted a female shoplifter who resisted and shot him,” authorities said. “The suspect, Benicia Knapps (32), ran to a getaway car driven by a male suspect, David Guillory (31).”

Knapps’s 2-year-old child was also in the getaway car.

Authorities said they found an abandoned handgun at a nearby intersection and that the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department detained the two suspects in Oakland about 15 minutes after the shooting. The child was turned over to a relative.

Guillory was booked into Santa Rita County Jail after his arrest, Pleasanton Police Lt. Erik Silacci said at a briefing Wednesday. Knapps is receiving treatment at a medical facility for injuries related to the robbery, and will be booked into the same jail when she is released, Silacci added.

Both suspects are being booked on multiple charges, including murder, robbery, child endangerment and conspiracy. Silacci said he anticipates further charges will be added as the investigation continues.

Mohs was taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Home Depot called the incident “senseless” in a statement to CBS News about the shooting.

“We’re heartbroken over this senseless tragedy,” the company said. “Blake was our associate and friend, and our hearts go out to his family and everyone who knew and loved him.”

Pleasanton Mayor Karla Brown offered her condolences to the victim’s family and friends, emphasizing his dedication to the community.

Mohs had a passion for law enforcement and was heavily involved in his community, volunteering for youth programs in the Tri-Valley area and taking on the role of an Eagle Scout, police said. He is survived by his parents, brother and fiancé, who he was planning to marry this summer.

“I am devastated by the loss of Blake Mohs in yesterday’s senseless shooting,” Brown said. “Through his service to Tri-Valley organizations, Blake was a model for others. To have a life cut short is heartbreaking and infuriating.”

Silacci also offered condolences on behalf of the Pleasanton Police Department, saying that Mohs worked hard to keep those around him safe, and that he was very well-known to many officers in the department.

“We’ve lost a valuable member of our community — a person who served to protect his fellow co-workers and customers, and was a valuable partner with law enforcement,” he said.

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