ASKING a customer to put on a face mask cost a US shop security guard his life.
Calvin Munerlyn, 43, was shot in the head at the Family Dollar store in Flint, Michigan, after telling a woman her daughter could not go into the shop because her face was uncovered.
The Genesee County prosecutor’s office said the father of eight and 45-year-old Sharmel Teague got into an argument. Munerlyn asked her to leave the store and told a cashier not to serve her.
About 20 minutes later she went back with two men officials identified as her husband Larry Teague and her son Ramonyea Bishop, officials said. They confronted the security guard and one of the men allegedly shot him in the back of the head, leaving him “unconscious and bleeding” at the scene.
Munerlyn was later pronounced dead at a local medical centre.
Sharmel Teague, her husband and her son now face pre-meditated murder and gun charges. She has already been arrested, but the other two suspects remain at large.
“The death of Calvin Munerlyn is senseless and tragic and those responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent under the law,” promised Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
“Decisions like staying home when we can, wearing a mask when going to the store and staying a safe distance from those around us, these should not be political arguments,” Leyton commented.
“They don’t necessitate acts of defiance and we simply cannot devolve into an us-versus-them mentality.”
A GoFundMe page set up to pay for Munerlyn’s funeral has now raised some $100,000.
The GoFundMe campaign organiser Courtney Cabine wrote that Munderlyn was “a hard-working father and husband who lost his life while doing his job securing the place of business and asking all customers to wear a mask for our own safety as well as others.”
Michigan is one of the US states hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly 44,000 confirmed cases by Monday and over 4,000 deaths.
Last week hundreds of furious protestors, some carrying guns, gathered at Michigan’s state capitol building to demand an end to the coronavirus crisis lockdown and the reopening of businesses.