Should an employee be punished for shooting and killing a would-be robber if it is against the employer's policy to carry a gun?
Police cleared an Indianapolis grocery store manager of wrongdoing after he shot and killed a man trying to rob the Kroger store where he works, but he may not escape punishment from his employer.
According to Indiana state law, 24-year-old Elijah Elliott is in the clear – he saw someone in trouble and tried to protect her.
Witnesses told police the Elliott came to the rescue of his co-worker who was confronted by a supposed robber, identified as 26-year-old Jeremy Atkinson. Police say Atkinson held a hard object to a woman's back and forced her into the back room of the store.
Then Elliott shot Atkinson in the face, killing him.
"I hope his willingness does not turn into a negative implication for his employment,” said Guy Reldford from the NRA of Indianapolis.
But his heroic move is being scrutinized. Some are questioning, did the employee do the right thing?
“It’s a really tough situation, they're in a very difficult situation,” said South Bend defense attorney Andre Gammage. “Obviously he did a courageous act that saved a life, but they have to look at what their [store] policy is."
According to the Indianapolis Star, the Kroger employee hand book says a worker can't bring a firearm inside the store.
But workers can keep their firearms locked in their car, on company property.
“The employer's job is also to create a safe environment for people who are there, so if guns come in there, he's not creating a safe environment," Gammage said.
Elliott is still employed and Kroger said they've now launched an internal investigation. It is unclear if the company plans to take action to discipline the worker.
"There are a lot of different scenarios of what could have happened when he pulled that gun, and most of those scenarios are not good," Gammage said.
You may remember a similar story a little close to home in Berrien County this past May. A Walgreens employee fired his gun at attempted robbers in the store. The employee was fired from that store because Walgreens said he violated company policy about confronting suspects during a robbery.
Although Michigan law is different from Indiana law, stores can set their own policy when it comes to firearms.
Gammage said many stores set those "no firearm" policies because of liability issues that come along with the possession of a firearm inside a workplace.