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West Ventura Focus

PORT HUENEME : Slaying of Shoplifter Justifiable, D.A. Finds

June 03, 1993|BARBARA MURPHY

A Port Hueneme liquor store owner who shot and killed a shoplifter acted in self-defense, the district attorney's office announced Wednesday.

Shin Ung Kang was defending himself from a knife attack when he killed 23-year-old Timothy Morrison of Oxnard on Feb. 12, prosecutors said. The confrontation occurred when Kang, 35, followed Morrison out of the Anacapa Liquor store at 711 E. Hueneme Road and demanded that a stolen bottle of wine cooler be returned to him.

Although some witnesses to the shooting portrayed Morrison as backing away from Kang when he was killed, Deputy Dist. Atty. James D. Ellison wrote in his report on the incident that the physical evidence did not support those claims.

A knife found at the scene with Morrison's thumbprint on it, an analysis of the bullet hole in Morrison's jacket--indicating that his arm was raised and he was leaning forward when he was shot--and Jennifer Kang's call to police to report an attempt to stab her husband before the shooting occurred all contradict statements that Morrison was not the aggressor, Ellison concluded.

Most of the witnesses to the incident were intoxicated, the district attorney's report says.

The report says Morrison spent the day drinking with several friends, and during a second trip to the liquor store he hid a bottle of wine in his jacket. Kang, who says he saw the theft in his security mirror, asked Morrison to give the wine back and followed him into the parking lot when Morrison left without returning the merchandise.

Morrison took one swing at Kang with the knife, possibly grazing him in the neck, when Jennifer Kang called police. Kang told police he fired his gun when Morrison made a second lunge at him with the knife.

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