A store worker in Kansas City tried to stop a shoplifter because he wanted to keep his workplace safe from thieves. But now he’s being charged with murder. Two thieves were robbing the store when Carl Kemppainen confronted them. This led to a fight between workers and thieves. One of the shoplifters was killed at the end. Now the rule is being used against someone who tried to protect it.
Kemppainen worked at O’Reilly Auto Parts on Parallel Parkway in Kansas City on September 19. Around 6 p.m., Diamond Steen, 23, and another guy went into the store and are said to have started stealing things. Another worker at Kemppainen called the cops and then challenged the two, which led to a fight. The employees chased the suspected thieves out of the store and arrested them, but Steen’s airway was blocked in the fight, and by the time the police came, he was dead and his friend had minor injuries.
Kemppainen was caught on September 21 and charged with second-degree murder (which means “unintentional but reckless”). Public defender for Wyandotte County Mark Dupree told reporters, “It is the police’s job to do the policing, no one else’s.” He also said, “You still have to go to court” if a crime is suspected. At the same time, Steen’s family said that the store workers shouldn’t have done anything but call the cops.
Dupree said that he doesn’t think race played a role in the event, even though Kemppainen is white and Steen is black. It’s possible that more charges will be brought after investigators watch the widely shared video of the fight and look at “a plethora of evidence.” He also said that three other people could be charged. Kemppainen, on the other hand, was taken to the Wyandotte County Detention Center and booked. He was later freed after paying a $125,000 bond.