OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An employee at a Tulsa Walgreens with a concealed-carry license fatally shot an armed man after an argument that began at the photo counter, police said Thursday.
The man who died after the shooting Wednesday evening was identified as William Hurley, Tulsa police spokeswoman Jeanne Pierce said. Another Walgreens employee and a customer also were struck by gunfire and hospitalized. Pierce said both are expected to survive.
Pierce said the altercation began when the store clerk tried to verify that Hurley was the rightful owner of the photographs, which had been in Walgreens’ possession for more than a year. Video from inside the store showed Hurley pull out a handgun, jump over the counter and grab the photos from the clerk while employees were trying to call police, Pierce said.
Hurley, 52, appeared to be leaving with the photographs, but then apparently returned and went back toward the clerk “(Hurley) then came back over the counter, and a clerk who was 28 years old, who had a concealed-carry license and was armed, pulled his own weapon and shot the deceased,” Pierce said That employee wasn’t injured, and police said he hasn’t been arrested.
Oklahoma is one of more than 30 states with a “stand your ground” law that allows people to use deadly force inside their home or place of business against anyone who enters those locations “unlawfully or forcefully.” Oklahoma’s law was expanded earlier this year to include places of worship.
Pierce said the Tulsa County district attorney will decide whether to charge the clerk, but said the reason he wasn’t arrested was because “he was legally armed and that the evidence that we had at the scene supports a self-defense type of situation.”
Walgreens said in a statement it’s cooperating with the investigation into the shooting , but a spokesman for the company did not return telephone and email messages seeking comment about its policy on armed employees.
In 2011, Walgreens fired a pharmacist at a store in Benton Harbor, Michigan, after he fired his gun at thieves in a store, saying at the time his gun use violated company policy.