DETROIT (AP) — A suburban Detroit woman licensed to carry a concealed weapon was charged after authorities say she shot and flattened an SUV’s tire to stop two suspected shoplifters fleeing a Home Depot parking lot.
Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez, 46, of Clarkston, was arraigned Tuesday for reckless discharge of a weapon.
The shooting occurred Oct. 6 in Auburn Hills, northwest of Detroit. A Home Depot employee was trying to stop a 52-year-old man who was pushing a cart of merchandise that hadn’t been paid for from the store. The man got into a SUV driven by another man, who began to pull out of the lot.
“The female customer … fired shots at the suspect vehicle as it fled, flattening a tire on the vehicle,” police said Tuesday in a release.
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The suspected shoplifters got away. Two people were arrested a few days later and have been charged with retail fraud.
Authorities have said the woman who fired the shot wasn’t being threatened by the shoplifters.
The attempt to stop the SUV was “misguided,” Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said.
“If this is proven, I find it very disturbing that someone would take out their gun in a busy parking lot and shoot at the tires of a passing car,” she said. “Once fired, the bullet could have easily ricocheted or fragmented and injured or killed someone else.”
“It would have been much more helpful for her to take out her cellphone and shoot pictures of the shoplifter’s license plate,” Cooper said.
Duva-Rodriguez’s attorney, Steve Schwartz, said she has a concealed pistol license and was just trying to do the right thing.
“Ms. Duva-Rodriguez is somebody who is always willing and actually wanting to help others,” Schwartz told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, in an attempt to be a good Samaritan as these events unfolded … she is facing this 90-day misdemeanor.”
The charge also carries a possible fine upon conviction.
Auburn Hills police Lt. Jill McDonnell said Tuesday that Duva-Rodriguez works in landscaping.
She was released on a $5,000 personal bond. Her next court hearing is Oct. 26.
The Home Depot shooting was one of several incidents in recent weeks in which citizens shot at lawbreakers or potential lawbreakers.
On Sept. 21, a bank customer in Warren, north of Detroit, shot and wounded a suspected robber fleeing the bank with cash. A northern Michigan woman was charged after two people were shot at Sept. 15 while picking apples from branches extending over a fence from private property.