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Police: Store Employee Charged After Shooting Would-Be Thief

An employee of a local shop is facing charges after police say he shot someone breaking into the store.

The incident happened Sunday morning in the Green Valley neighborhood, shortly before 5 a.m.

Police say a group of three suspects broke into a store on the 2400 block of Shirlington Road and began stealing cash and merchandise. The employee, who was in a backroom at the time, picked up a gun, opened a door into the store, and shot one of the suspects, according to an Arlington County Police press release.

The employee then retreated, before going back into the store and firing another shot, police said.

The wounded suspect was a juvenile male; he suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries. The two other suspects fled the scene before police arrived.

While police did not name the store at which the shooting took place, according to scanner traffic it was the Arlington Smoke Shop at 2428 Shirlington Road. The store’s employee has now been charged in connection with the shooting.

“Following consultation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the employee, Hamzeh Abushariah, 33, of Washington D.C. was charged with Malicious Wounding, Reckless Handling of a Firearm and Violation of a Protective Order,” police said. “Additional charges related to the breaking and entering are anticipated at a later date.”

More from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place in the Green Valley neighborhood on the morning of March 29, 2020.

At approximately 4:53 a.m., police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown in the 2400 block of Shirlington Road. The preliminary investigation indicates that three subjects forced entry into a business and began stealing cash and merchandise. An employee inside a secure back room heard the break in, retrieved a firearm, opened the door to the sales floor and discharged the weapon, striking one juvenile subject. The employee retreated to the back room but reentered the sales floor and discharged his weapon again as the subjects were attempting to flee the business.

Arriving officers located the injured juvenile subject outside the business. He was transported by medics to an area hospital with injuries that are considered serious but non-life threatening. The other two subjects fled the scene on foot prior to police arrival.

Following consultation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the employee, Hamzeh Abushariah, 33, of Washington D.C. was charged with Malicious Wounding, Reckless Handling of a Firearm and Violation of a Protective Order. He is being held without bond.

Additional charges related to the breaking and entering are anticipated at a later date.

This incident remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective Henretty of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4237 or [email protected] arlingtonva.us. Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Update on 4/24/20 — Two of the break-in suspects are now facing charges.

Photo via Google

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