A security guard in the US has been charged with murder after fatally shooting a customer who refused to wear a face mask while inside a market.
Umeir Corniche Hawkins shot 50-year-old Jerry Lewis on July 5th in Gardena, southern California.
A statewide order was issued by California’s governor last month requiring people to wear face coverings while entering most indoor settings to prevent spread of coronavirus.
Lewis was reportedly waiting for a tow truck outside of the market on the Sunday evening, when he tried to enter the store without a mask on.
Hawkins, an employee at the store, allegedly told Lewis he needed to wear a mask, which led to an argument.
Lewis, 50, left the store, but returned a short time later and began fighting with Hawkins, before the accused’s wife, Sabrina Carter, armed herself with a handgun and pointed it at Lewis and other customers.
The victim attempted to leave after that, according to reports, but Hawkins followed him out, pulled out his own weapon and shot Lewis – who died at the scene, Gardena police said.
Hawkins, 38, of Los Angeles was arrested Monday on suspicion of shooting and killing Jerry Lewis.
His wife, Sabrina Carter, is charged with one count of possession of a handgun by a felon.
Both pleaded not guilty to charges on Wednesday and are expected to return to court on July 10th.
Hawkins faces 50 years to life in prison, while Carter could get up to three years.
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