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Security officer arrested in fatal shooting at convenience store

Updated August 27, 2020 - 3:40 pm

A security officer arrested on suspicion of murder shot a man Wednesday night outside a northeast Las Vegas 7-Eleven after arguing with him over COVID-19 restrictions at the store, according to her arrest report.

The security officer, Kegia Mitchell, 36, was taken to the Clark County Detention Center, police said on Thursday. Mitchell’s arrest report identified the man killed as Thomas Martin, although the Clark County coroner’s office had not released his name as of Thursday afternoon.

Officers were called about 10:50 p.m. to the 7-Eleven at 4395 Las Vegas Blvd. North, near Nellis Air Force Base, Metropolitan Police Department homicide Lt. Ray Spencer said. He said early Thursday that the security guard suspected of shooting the man had not been arrested, but police announced Thursday afternoon that she is facing charges.

Police said Mitchell was working as an armed, uniformed security officer and was letting customers into the store under COVID-19 occupancy restrictions. According to her arrest report, Martin and Mitchell were arguing “over Martin having to wait outside the store.”

“The argument escalated to the point when Martin pushes his way into the store where a physical struggle ensues between him and Mitchell,” the report said.

During the struggle, Mitchell pulled out her gun and shot Martin once in the chest, the report said. The officer who wrote the report stated that Martin was not armed and that he “did not physically attack Mitchell.”

During an interview with police, Mitchell reportedly said Martin became angry and pushed his way into the store after she “gave permission to another unknown patron” to enter the store. Before she told the other customer to enter, Mitchell heard Martin say, “Don’t do it again I’m gonna get you,” the report said.

Mitchell said the struggle inside the store was “more of a shoving match” and that Martin did not punch her, kick her or “reach or touch her gun at all,” the report said.

“Once outside the argument continued where Mitchell then shot Martin once in the chest,” the report said. “Mitchell then called 911.”

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, police said “the victim backed away” before Mitchell shot him. It was unclear from the report if Martin had “backed away” after the two were outside the store.

In an interview with police, Mitchell said “she wished that she just physically fought Martin” instead of shooting him, the report said.

Detectives who watched surveillance footage also indicated that Martin was unarmed and did not “grab Mitchell’s gun or attempt to disarm her,” the report said.

Mitchell remained in custody at the detention center on Thursday afternoon without bail, jail records show. She is due to appear in court on Monday.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Review-Journal reporter Jannelle Calderon contributed to this report.

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