FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Man in Line for LeBron Shoes Kills Would-Be Robber

A man who attempted to rob Atlanta customers early Saturday morning while they waited to buy LeBron James' newest branded sneaker was shot and killed by another man waiting in line.

The early rising shoppers were waiting to buy the new LeBron X Denim sneakers when an armed man approached them with a gun -- only to have a potential customer shoot the man before returning to his place in line, reports NBC News.

While some shoppers are thanking the shooter, he may face criminal charges.

Approval for Shooter

As of Tuesday, no charges had been filed against the shooter. That doesn't seem to bother bystanders like Taylor White, who told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the shooter "really stood up for all of us."

The man who shot the would-be robber while waiting to buy $180 LeBron-branded shoes would normally be charged with murder, since he intentionally shot and killed his assailant.

However, since charges have not been filed, it is possible that Atlanta authorities believe his actions were in self-defense.

Self-Defense for Robbery

Even if the shooter admits that he intended to kill the shoe store robber, under a theory of self-defense he may be protected from criminal liability for murder.

Under Georgia law, someone can only use lethal force -- in this case, shooting the robber with a concealed weapon -- if he reasonably believes that it will prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or another person.

Assuming the shooter had a valid concealed weapon permit, he may have a complete legal defense to murder if he was shooting out of reasonable fear of death or serious injury to himself or the other LeBron sneaker enthusiasts.

Stand Your Ground

Some states require a person who claims self-defense to attempt to flee or retreat before using deadly force to stop his attacker.

But states with "Stand Your Ground" laws, like Georgia, provide that there is no duty to retreat. That suggests the shooter may have had the right to "stand his ground" and use deadly force if adequately provoked.

Georgia's Supreme Court recognized the right of a shooter claiming self-defense to "stand her ground" more than 100 years ago, although it was only enshrined in Georgia law in 2006, reports the AJC. Neither the alleged would-be robber, nor the shooter, have been identified.

Related Resources: