Shell Station Owner Charged with Murder for Shooting Teen

May 30, 2023

COLUMBIA, S.C.—A Shell gas station owner in South Carolina is facing murder charges after he shot and killed a 14-year-old African-American boy he suspected of shoplifting.

The shooting happened at a Shell gas station on Parklane Road in Columbia, around 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 28.

Rick Chow, the owner of the gas station, chased Cyrus Carmack-Belton from his store and shot him down the road, according to FOX8.

Chow told police he suspected Carmack-Belton of shoplifting inside the store, which investigators later found not to be true after reviewing surveillance footage.

“It’s senseless, it doesn’t make sense,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott stated during a Memorial Day press conference. “You have a family that’s grieving. We have a community that’s grieving over a 14-year-old who was shot.”

“Regardless, even if he had shoplifted four bottles of water, which is what he initially took out of the cooler and then he put them back, even if he’d done that, that’s not something you shoot anybody over, much less a 14-year-old, but you just don’t do that,” Sheriff Lott said.

There was a verbal confrontation inside the store at one point, but no indication the verbal confrontation turned physical.

Chow, 58, and his son chased Carmack-Belton down the street.

Chow’s son told his father that Carmack-Belton was armed and that’s when Chow shot the teenager in the right lower back—killing him.

Authorities recovered a gun believed to belong to the 14-year-old near his body, however, said there was no evidence that Carmack-Belton pointed the pistol or threatened Chow, reports FOX8.

According to witnesses, Chow is described as “nasty” and rude to customers.

The store was closed Monday, with a sign on the that read: “We are closed for Memorial Day. Sorry for the inconvenience!”

A cardboard sign had been taped on the door by a protester, which read: “Water or Life? Which Means More?”

Feature Screenshots via Richland County Sheriff’s Department & YouTube

Welcome to Asian Dawn.

A customizable subscription slide-in box to promote your newsletter
[mc4wp_form id="314"]