Retail thefts will not be tolerated, Ohio prosecutor warns robbers after smoke shop manager charged in killing incident

Delhi Township, Ohio – Thieves targeting retail stores in the area have received a stern warning from Hamilton County Prosecutor Melissa Powers. This comes after the indictment of Tony Thacker, manager of VIP Smoke Shop, in connection to the fatal shooting of a teenager during an attempted robbery earlier this year.

The charges filed against Thacker include felonious assault, tampering with evidence, and possession of a firearm despite being prohibited due to a prior felony juvenile adjudication. The incident occurred on October 20, when Thacker allegedly shot at suspects who broke into the store, fatally wounding 16-year-old Travis Johnson as he attempted to flee the scene in a stolen vehicle.

Powers strongly condemned the shooting, asserting that there is no justification for shooting at someone as they are running away. However, she emphasized that retail thefts will not be tolerated and warned potential robbers to expect to be shot if they attempt to rob a store.

Thacker’s younger brother, Malachi, was also indicted for attempting to disable the store’s security system and remove shell casings. In addition to the Thacker brothers, Amontae Carter and three juveniles were arrested in connection to the incident. Carter faces charges of murder and burglary, while the three juveniles face similar charges, including stolen property charges.

The prosecutor’s office has made it clear that retail theft will not be condoned, but the use of deadly force in such situations is still under scrutiny. The tragic events have left a community in shock and raised questions about the use of force in self-defense situations, particularly when the suspects are fleeing.