ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A gas station clerk is charged with shooting a suspected shoplifter in the face. Now, he has taken a plea deal.

Andres Orona pleaded guilty on Monday to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. The plea comes after he was charged with shooting the man as he tried to leave the Speedway at Montaño near Coors last year.

The man eventually crashed his pickup on Montaño near 12th Street.

In court on Monday, the judge asked Orona to explain what happened. Orona said he acted out of fear.

“I fired my firearm where there was many other things I should have been doing other than just taking that into my own hands. I know, now, that there could have been a way better outcome,” said Andres Orona.

With Orona now pleading guilty, Judge Emeterio Rudolfo said a self-defense argument is now off the table. Orona faces up to 3 years behind bars.