A security guard at a Family Dollar store in Flint, Michigan, was shot and killed recently after asking a store customer to wear a mask in line with the order from the state’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer for residents to wear a mask in enclosed public spaces. Michigan has suffered over 4,000 deaths from the Coronavirus since the disease emerged in the U.S. Local police have already apprehended one of the individuals behind the shooting, which claimed the life of Calvin Munerlyn, who was a father of eight.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton shared:
‘From all indications, Mr. Munerlyn was simply doing his job in upholding the governor’s executive order related to the COVID-19 pandemic for the safety of store employees and customers.’
Michigan is one of the states that Trump recently tweeted that his followers should “liberate,” although Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, which is slated to expire on May 15, is in line with the Trump administration’s own guidelines for preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. Although there have been a significant number of angry, politically-motivated demonstrators turning out against Michigan’s anti-Coronavirus measures recently — including a group of heavily armed belligerents who stormed the state capitol building — there is no immediate indication of a political connection to the Flint shooting.
Three people were charged with killing a Michigan store security guard after the guard told a customer to put on a face mask.
All are charged with first-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Calvin Munerlyn, a father of eight. https://t.co/bo37w8bFUI
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 4, 2020
The case involves 23-year-old Ramonyea Bishop, 44-year-old Larry Teague, and 45-year-old Sharmel Teague. As of Monday, only Sharmel Teague had been taken into custody. The shooting unfolded after the deceased guard asked Teague’s daughter, who has not been publicly identified, to wear a mask while in the store. After the Teagues refused and Sharmel got into a verbal altercation with the guard, she and her daughter left, but Sharmel soon returned with the other two suspects. Bishop is the one who pulled the trigger and murdered Munerlyn.
The suspects in the Michigan shooting allegedly over face mask use.
The niece of Calvin James Munerlyn, the deceased security guard, asks that we forward. https://t.co/NOEAOv7dsw
— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) May 4, 2020
Local prosecutor Leyton explains:
‘[Munerlyn] told Teague’s daughter that she needed to wear a face mask while inside the store. Teague’s daughter left the store, but Teague began yelling at Munerlyn, who then told her to leave the store and instructed the cashier not to serve her.’
After Sharmel and the other two suspects returned, Leyton explains:
‘One of them started yelling at Mr. Munerlyn about disrespecting his wife. The other black male walks up and shoots Mr. Munerlyn.’
A GoFundMe page was set up to help cover expenses for Munerlyn’s family, and the page raised some $10,000 as of Monday. The three suspects have all been criminally charged over his murder.
Although the shooting does not appear to have direct political connections, it did not occur in a vacuum. For weeks and months on end, President Donald Trump and other national Republican leaders have been encouraging resistance to the basic public health measures instituted in attempts to stem the spread of the Coronavirus. After the armed demonstrators stormed the Michigan capitol building, Trump tweeted that they were supposedly good people who Whitmer should attempt to strike some kind of deal with. The rhetoric echoes his insistence after neo-Nazis marched in Virginia that there were supposedly good people on both sides.