Working at Family Dollar as a cashier or stock clerk is not the future most Americans have as their dreams when they are in school. Yet, those who undertake working a largely thankless job in a company with minimal upward mobility take it seriously. They are willing to defend the store and themselves in a way that you’ll never see at a designer store in Miami.
A Phoenix, AZ Family Dollar found themselves with a shoplifter walking their aisles. Employee Kevin Salas Madrid took that queue and confronted the shoplifter. Known to the store for his previous shoplifting escapades, Madrid decided to confront him and tell the shoplifter to exit the store immediately.
When they got outside the store, the would-be criminal punched Madrid in the face. The 24-year-old shopkeeper responded by producing his handgun. Unloading rounds into the thief, Madrid proceeded to empty the magazine, continuing after his body hit the ground. However, Fox 10 and AZ Family 3 have conflicting reports on the number of shots fired. While Fox 10 is claiming 10 shots were fired, AZ Family 3 confirms that number is the minimum and they report another employee claimed a total of 15 shots were heard.
That same person also told AZ Family 3 that when he asked Madrid what happened, the man claimed he could not control his anger. Another witness alleges that the thief struck Madrid in the face, sending his glasses flying to the ground. That’s the moment Madrid produced a handgun and shot the man at least 10 times. Following his fall, the witness contends Madrid closed the gap and continued firing as he walked.
When law enforcement arrived on the scene, they found Madrid. There was no struggle or anything besides Madrid surrendering and his empty firearm on the ground. In the police report the arresting officer states “Kevin stated he had made the worst decision of his life.” The probable cause statement also concluded, “Kevin explained he was struck and decided to shoot but looking back, he realized it was egregious.”
The word “egregious” is an interesting choice of words here. While the current definition means “conspicuously bad” or “flagrant” the archaic meaning is “remarkably good” or “distinguished.” Using this word to describe what happened is a great way of playing the semantics game and ensuring that you get a positive message out there regarding the situation.
No matter the meaning he intended for people to gather from his use of egregious, he was right.
It was “conspicuously bad” for Madrid to fire on a downed suspect laying on his face. The threat at this point has efficiently been neutralized and he no longer was a danger to Madrid and others. Yet, it was also “remarkably good” to make an example out of the shoplifter. While the loss in revenue should not matter to an employee, he can’t just watch people walk out with free merchandise and not say or do something about it.
Going after the thief sent a message on many levels. Getting knocked upside the head and having his glasses tossed aside was more than enough for him to have a reasonable fear the assault would continue. Pulling out the firearm is just as bad as firing shots in 2023, so he was smart to dump the mag. Better to be sure the threat is done instead of being on the other end wondering what could have been.
Liberal mayors and governors have been taking it lightly on criminals for years. The message about pitying someone who decided to take what is not theirs is not a message we should be passing on to the younger generation. Instead, the message that actions have consequences is the message we need to be passing down. Now, Madrid and this thief will be a part of that message, for better or for worse.