Cops: Clerk Fired In Self-Defense

A police investigation appears to be backing up the story of a clerk at a Hill grocery who shot dead an alleged robber late Tuesday night.

The clerk fired at a man who had entered Nino’s Mini-Market at 659 Washington Ave. around 11:40 p.m., allegedly pointed a rifle at a customer, announced a robbery, then pointed the rifle at the clerk. The clerk fired several shots. The alleged robber, Christian Munoz, 19, died later at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He had previously attempted to rob another Hill grocery, police said. (Click here to read a story about the incident.) Munoz, a New York native, had no known New Haven address.

Police have not charged the clerk with a crime, and have no current plans to.

“At this time the investigation indicates the store clerk fired his weapon in self-defense,” Lt. Tony Reyes, major crimes boss in the police department’s detective division, reported Thursday. “The store clerk has a legal pistol permit and is the registered owner of the weapon used in the shooting.”

Detectives at the scene found the rifle the clerk said Munoz had used. They continue to investigate the incident.

Across town in Quinnipiac Meadows, a 71-year-old man also told police that he shot someone in self-defense, this past Sunday. In that case the police came to a different conclusion and charged him with first-degree assault.

Click here for a story by the Register’s Rich Scinto about how Connecticut laws deals with alleged self-defense shootings.

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