Police: ‘Good Samaritan’ shot robber who had killed man

Shooting San Antonio Mall_512186

San Antonio police stand guard at an exit to the Rolling Oaks Mall after a deadly shooting Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in San Antonio. Authorities say several were injured after a robbery at the shopping mall. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

HOUSTON (AP) — A “good Samaritan” shot and wounded an armed robber at a San Antonio mall after another man was killed while confronting two people who had just held up a jewelry store, a police spokesman said Monday.

The licensed concealed handgun holder, whose name has not been released by authorities, believed other people were in danger and was within his rights to use his gun following the Sunday robbery, said San Antonio police spokesman Officer Doug Greene. The wounded suspect was hospitalized in critical condition Monday; the second suspect, who shot and wounded two people in the Rolling Oaks Mall while running away, was captured later Sunday.

“It was obvious it was a very dangerous situation and that lives were being threatened and (the two robbers) were armed with weapons and … the good Samaritan with the (concealed handgun) license could have been injured as well,” Greene said. “We just ask people to use their best judgment when they get into situations like this.”

Police described both men who tried to intervene as “good Samaritans.” Greene said the men did not know each other.

The man who was killed was identified by the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office as 42-year-old Jonathan Murphy. He was unarmed but nonetheless tried to stop the robbers outside the jewelry store, according to Greene, who didn’t immediately know how Murphy tried to stop them or whether there was a physical altercation before Murphy was shot.

The man with the concealed handgun saw the shooting and fired multiple times at the robber who had shot Murphy, Greene said. He did not know how many people were in the mall at the time.

Murphy had been at the jewelry store with his wife to get their wedding rings cleaned, said family friend Chris Cercone. He believes Murphy, who managed sales at a local car dealership and lived in nearby Cibolo, was looking out for the safety of his wife and others at the store when he confronted the robbers.

“John always looked out for his family and he’d do anything to protect his family and others. And I believe that cost him his life,” said Cercone, who is an attorney in San Francisco and is dating Murphy’s stepdaughter.

Murphy “was a protector in every sense of the word,” said Cercone, who has set up a GoFundMe page for Murphy’s family.

Police Chief William McManus called Murphy’s death senseless “because it seems like the gentleman was trying to do the right thing,” Greene said.

Asked whether people with concealed weapons should intervene in such situations, Greene said, “It really depends on that concealed handgun license holder, on how comfortable they feel, at what level do they think they need to respond.”

Authorities said both robbery suspects face preliminary charges of capital murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The two people who were wounded were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Two other people — a woman who complained of chest pains and a pregnant woman who had labor pains — were also taken to hospitals.

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