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Lowe’s Customer Shoots Axe Handle-Wielding Shoplifter in Parking Lot After Being Threatened

VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON – A Lowe’s customer who was attempting to get the license plate information of an alleged shoplifter’s getaway vehicle ended up shooting the suspect after the man threatened him with an axe handle.

Vancouver Police said that Aaron Dreyer called 911 reporting that he had shot a man in the parking lot of the Lowe’s located at 18801 SE Mill Plain Boulevard.  According to police, it all began when Dryer was getting ready to leave the store’s parking lot.

He saw a man running out of an emergency exit of the store toward a waiting car with a woman in the driver’s seat. The man was carrying store merchandise, leading Dryer to assume that he was attempting to flee the scene with stolen goods.

Wanting to be helpful, Dryer drove his car closer to the alleged getaway car to get the license plate number of the car so he could give it to authorities. As he got closer, the man approached his car and began vandalizing it with an axe handle, presumably one of the items taken from the store.

Dryer, 48, got out of his car and the man, later identified as 22-year-old Kenneth Nigg, moved toward him. Dryer drew his gun and shot Nigg, called 911 to report the incident, and administered first aid until first responders arrived.

Nigg was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his wounds, and his condition was not known. The Major Crimes Unit of the VPD is investigating the incident.

Things get tricky here, but the important takeaway is this: If you really want to help, try not to get close to the point where the suspects are going to go after you. A confrontation isn’t needed, or wanted, and it can only put you in danger when things go south.

Dryer made this decisions, and they may have been the right ones. I wasn’t there, but let’s just be mindful of what we may be getting ourselves into.

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