CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they have arrested the store owner who shot and killed a man who broke into an east Charlotte business.
Officers were called around 4:30 a.m. Monday to the scene on East Independence Boulevard, near Albemarle Road.
Authorities told Eyewitness News that they were responding to a breaking-and-entering call at the American Beauty and Garden Center when the business owner called 911, saying he was also responding to the store after seeing a robber inside through a security camera.
We first updated WSOCTV news app users with a notification just after 6 a.m. Monday that the store owner shot and killed the break-in suspect.
Download the WSOCTV news app for your smartphone and get updates on this developing story as they come in.
A few minutes later, the same man called 911 again and told the operator he had just shot someone at the business.
When they arrived, police found the male shooting victim, 20-year-old Justin Tyler Anderson, and the store owner behind the building.
Paramedics pronounced Anderson dead at the scene.
Police said they charged the store owner, 49-year-old Alan Brett Corder, with voluntary manslaughter.
They said officers arrested Corder at the business Thursday without incident.
After the deadly shooting, Channel 9 crews could see police surrounding the American Beauty Garden Center, which had glass shattered toward the front of the business.
Investigators said it appeared that Anderson broke into the business by smashing the front glass door. When the owner of the store arrived, Anderson ran out the front door and was then shot by the owner.
Police said Anderson then ran behind the building which is where officers found him.
Channel 9 has learned the garden center that was targeted sells equipment for grow rooms. It also sells equipment to extract CBD oil, which is associated with medical marijuana.
The store manager told Channel 9 the burglar wasn’t after money, he was trying to steal gear.
Store owner shot burglar in back, attorney says
The attorney representing the shop owner said he was well within his rights.
The victim’s family said those rights ended when Anderson ran away.
"Unfortunately, this gentleman decided to play judge, jury and executioner all in the same moment," attorney Justin Bamberg, who represents Anderson’s family, said.
Bamberg said Anderson was shot in the left side of his face and the upper right portion of his back.
The shot in the back could make all the difference legally, Bamberg said.
Legal experts said a gunshot from the front would indicate the subject was approaching and that would’ve been a threat.
A gunshot to the back would indicate he was retreating and not a threat.
Bamberg said Anderson was unarmed and the evidence shows he was running away.
“There is no evidence between these two there was a confrontation of any type,” Bamberg said. “In that moment, shooting is not self-defense."
Corder’s defense attorney George Laughrun strongly disagrees. He said that Corder felt he had no choice but to defend himself and believes his actions were lawful.
Nearby business owners were shocked.
"Personally, I would've just tried to scare him away,” said CJ Williams, who works nearby. “I don't know if I would've done all that and taken a life, but I understand you're trying to defend your business."
Former federal prosecutor Kathleen Nicolaides said a person can shoot an intruder to protect his or her home, vehicle and your business if someone breaks in and threatens you.
However, she said this case was tricky because police said the store owner wasn't actually in his business when he killed the burglar.
Juries disagree with charges all the time, experts said. Nicolaides said trying to figure out if they would empathize with the store owner or the person who was killed is like trying to roll the dice.
Corder was transferred to the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office after his arrest.
He has since bonded out of jail.
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