Murder charges have been filed against gas station owner Rick Chow. The charges follow the fatal shooting of Cyrus Carmack-Belton, a 14-year-old teenager.
Sheriff Leon Lott briefed the public on the disheartening incident on Monday, condemning the needless loss of young Cyrus Carmack-Belton.
Around 8 p.m., Carmack-Belton entered a Shell gas station location in South Carolina. Chow, the owner, mistakenly believed the teenager was shoplifting water bottles, which he had only momentarily touched before returning them to the cooler.
A dispute ensued between Chow and Carmack-Belton, which ended with the teenager leaving the premises. However, Chow’s son initiated a pursuit. Chow was tailing behind, pistol in hand.
The chase led them near Springtree Drive apartments, where Carmack-Belton tripped and fell but promptly got back on his feet. In the heat of the moment, Chow’s son claimed that the teenager had a gun.
Chow shot Carmack-Belton in the back moments later. Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford confirmed that the gunshot inflicted fatal injuries to Carmack-Belton’s heart.
Sheriff Lott revealed that although a firearm was found near Carmack-Belton’s body, their investigation determined it was not aimed at Chow or his son. Lot confirmed that the teenager was shot while his back was turned.