A Home Depot employee in California was killed outside his store on Tuesday after he tried to stop a woman trying to steal an electrical item. Blake Mohs, 26, who worked as a security guard at a Home Depot store in Pleasanton, east of San Francisco, was shot dead by the shoplifter and her boyfriend who then fled with their two-year-old child in a car.
According to police, Mohs confronted a 32-year-old woman named Benicia Knapps who was allegedly trying to steal an electric tool or charger and flee through the store's loading dock. She resisted and then shot Mohs. He later died at the Eden Medical Center.
Killed in the Line of Duty
The incident took place around 2:15 pm at the Home Depot store at 6000 Johnson Drive. According to police Mohs saw the Knapps stealing a phone charger and Mohs chased Knapps to the store's loading dock, where a "struggle ensued." During the struggle, Knapps took out a gun and allegedly shot Mohs and fled.
Knapps allegedly fled the scene in a getaway car driven by her boyfriend, David Guillory, 31, with her 2-year-old child in the backseat, as Mohs bled profusely inside the home improvement store.
He succumbed to his injuries despite being transported to the hospital.
About 15 minutes after the incident, deputies stopped Knapps and Guillory in Oakland, 20 miles from the Home Depot, and took them into custody.
Mohs' death was later confirmed by the Alameda County Coroner, and Home Depot acknowledged that the victim was an employee.
"We're heartbroken over this senseless tragedy. Blake was our associate and friend, and our hearts go out to his family and everyone who knew and loved him," the retailer said in a statement.
Knapps, a licensed security guard with a criminal history, was arrested and charged with murder, robbery, endangering a child, and conspiracy. Guillory was arrested for evading police, endangering children, and driving the wrong way.
Innocent Life Lost
The Alameda County Sheriff's Office immediately located the suspects' vehicle and apprehended them in Oakland at about 2.30 pm.
According to CBS, Knapps was put on a psychiatric hold after she choked herself to death with a seatbelt in the back of an Alameda Sheriff's Department police car.
Police also found a firearm at an intersection near the store. The toddler of the Knapps was released to family members.
According to Pleasanton officials, Mohs was a prominent member of the community who was interested in a career in police enforcement and had planned to get married this summer. "Unfortunately Blake's life was cut short by this senseless act of violence that started with a theft and turned into a robbery and ended in his murder," Lt. Erik Silacci said at a press conference.
"We lost a valuable member of our community, a person who served to protect his fellow coworkers and customers and was a valuable partner with law enforcement."
One of Mohs' friends, Scott Rodgers, told KTVU that Mohs was 'an incredible person' who was loved by everyone.
He said that Mohs had volunteered with younger Boy Scouts, having achieved Eagle Scout in 2014, the highest rank a Scout may achieve before reaching 18 years old.
According to Mohs' wedding website, he was scheduled to marry Silligman on August 12 at the Scout camp where they both volunteered.