Brandon Starks' mother tearfully condemned the shooting that took his life after he robbed a Waukegan grocery store, questioning why the store clerk who shot him outside the business didn't instead call police.
"If you had time to run out of the store, you had time to call the police," Veda Starks said Wednesday, standing outside the family's North Chicago home. The 20-year-old Starks -- a convicted burglar paroled from prison less than a month ago -- was shot to death by a store clerk Monday night as he fled the People's Market after robbing the store with a chrome-plated pellet gun.
While questioning the clerk's actions, she didn't condone her son's behavior.
"I don't excuse what he did," she said, even as she described him as a "sweet person" who was trying to straighten out his life following his Sept. 19 release from prison.
Authorities on Wednesday released new details of the shooting, including disclosing that the clerk fired seven shots at Starks as he tried to escape after the holdup on a bicycle.
Starks -- struck by two bullets -- appeared to be facing away from the clerk when he was hit by the fatal shot, Lake County Coroner Dr. Richard Keller said.
That could be a crucial factor in determining if the store clerk -- whom police haven't identified -- may face criminal charges, legal experts said as authorities continued investigating the holdup and shooting.
It could take Lake County prosecutors several weeks to review the evidence and determine whether charges should be filed, Assistant State's Attorney Stephen Scheller said.
"You don't have the right to use lethal force once the threat has passed," said Leonard Cavise, a law professor at DePaul University.
But the store's owner, who didn't want to identified, said: "It was self-defense. We got robbed at gunpoint."
Much of the shooting was captured by several security cameras, police said. Police are still looking for a second man they believe aided Starks, but didn't enter the store.