Newly released surveillance video from May 9, 2018, shows the moment a man shot and killed a customer in a Phoenix Circle K store in Phoenix, Arizona, took eight other customers hostage, and was later disarmed by those customers before being shot by SWAT officers.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office ruled the officer-involved shooting was justified, prompting the release of the video on Tuesday, July 30.
Police said 53-year-old Joel McClain Carson entered the Circle K near 19th Avenue and Grant Street with a gun moments after 9 a.m, in the surveillance video, he can be seen deliberately walking up to a customer waiting in line and shooting him in the back of the head, according to ABC15.
The victim, 24-year-old Efran Hernandez, who was a father of two, died at the scene.
“This is not a game. It’s not a joke. I don’t want any money, any beer… I came prepared to die,” Carson said, according to the testimony of a hostage with the police in a recording obtained by KTVK-TV.
Carson then ordered an employee to lock the front door before barricading it with a donut case.
The eight customers and employees inside were then ordered to the back of the store.
Carson then tried to shoot several of them but his stolen .22-caliber handgun malfunctioned. When the weapon started to act up, one of the customers in the store fought back, tackling Carson as the others rushed him, police told ABC15.
“I turned the gun to his stomach, and I tried to pull the trigger. It was my only instinct to get myself out of the situation,” the man who fought back told police.
Once they took the weapon, all the hostages ran outside, except for one employee who was in the back office and remained quiet the entire time to prevent being found.
Authorities then spent the next hour negotiating with Carson before a SWAT team eventually went in the store and shot Carson once, according to ABC15.
Carson was taken to a hospital and stayed there for a week, but he was later booked into jail on multiple charges including first-degree murder, nine counts of kidnapping, possession of a weapon by a prohibited person, and eight counts of aggravated assault.
After being released from the hospital on May 16, Carson admitted to the shooting and said he “wanted police to kill him,” when asked by police, according to ABC15.
More than a year after the incident, Carson is still awaiting trial, according to KTVK-TV.