Tamon J. Stapleton is dead. He died while committing armed robbery. Bob Owens offers details on his crime, and the armed citizen that put a permanent stop to Stapleton’s’ life of crime
A female Knoxville convenience store clerk is very lucky that her male friend was at the right place at the right time. The man was sitting in his parked vehicle when he noticed an armed robber force the clerk behind the counter at gunpoint. The male friend retrieved his own handgun from his vehicle and quickly ended the threat:
Officers responded to the Breadbox located on the 6200 block of Asheville Highway around 2:35 a.m after receiving a call that shots had been fired.
When officials arrived, they found Tamon J. Stapleton, 18, dead with a gunshot wound. Police say Stapleton, armed with a 9mm handgun, had entered the store and was forcing the female clerk behind the counter at gunpoint.
A male friend of the clerk, who was outside the store in his parked vehicle, witnessed the attempted robbery, retrieved his handgun, entered the store and fired one shot, hitting Stapleton.
A Knoxville mother believes charges should be filed against the man who shot and killed her son early Monday.
While acknowledging Tamon Stapleton, 18, was “in the wrong” when he tried to rob an Asheville Highway convenience store while armed, the unnamed gunman who killed Stapleton should be held accountable, Joy Stapleton said.
“I feel like the man should be charged,” she told 10News.
Police say Stapleton was robbing the Breadbox store when a friend of the clerk saw what was happening from outside and took action. That action, police say, is justified.
Charged for what? Doing the right thing? I understand a mothers’ anguish over such events, but the truth is, Tamon Stapleton, and no one else is to blame for his demise.
What if her son had killed the clerk?. Sorry again, but Tamon Stapleton is to blame here, no one else. But, Tamons’,mother seems to think we have no right to protect innocent life from predators like her son. Her son, who was seemingly a murder waiting to happen
Stapleton had been in and out of the juvenile system for years, according to records. He was born in April 1997.
“He had a very violent and extensive criminal history as a juvenile,” said DeBusk.
In 2011, officers picked him up for aggravated burglary. The following year, he was accused of attempted and aggravated robbery. He was put in the system a half-dozen times in 2011 alone.
Then in the summer of 2012, he was accused of aggravated assault and curfew violation.
He spent time in the custody of the Department of Children’s Services and at the Mountain View Youth Development Center, a Dandridge facility that houses more hard-core juvenile offenders.
Yet, the mother still would see a man, again, who did nothing but defend innocent life, put away.
She plans to fight for charges against the shooter, but police say the case is closed.
“If the store clerk would have killed him I would have felt different,” said Stapleton. “But because that man came into the store and killed him as he watched this robbery go on…he was not in danger. He could have dialed 911 and then went in to the store. But he didn’t, he just automatically went into the store and shot my son in the head.”
So, if her son were dead at the hand of the clerk that is somehow different? Again, there is a good chance that clerk would be dead if not for the heroic actions of her friend. Again, Tamon Stapleton is dead, and that is a tragedy, a life was wasted. But it was wasted by Tamon Stapleton, not by the man who saved his friend.
DeBusk said the man made the right call in protecting the clerk.
“You don’t have time. He did not have time to make a phone call,” said DeBusk. “He will not be charged because he was acting in good faith at a time when a person was in jeopardy of losing their life.”
Again, sorry for this mothers’ grief, but if she is angry, she should be angry at her son, who chose his own fate.