Cleveland restaurateur with concealed handgun license forced to shoot man who threatened employees with two handguns

by Chad D. Baus

WEWS, Cleveland's ABC affiliate, reported recently that a Cleveland business owner who is licensed to carry a concealed handgun shot and killed a man after police said the man made threats during an argument.

From the article:

According to Cleveland police, the incident began late Thursday night when the owner of "The Kitchen," an Internet café located at 6816 Superior Avenue, had an argument with another man over food.

Police said during the argument, the man made threats about shooting the store owner and then left.

About 10 to 15 minutes later -- just before midnight -- as the store owner was letting his employees out the front door and closing the business for the night, the man returned. Police said, this time, he was armed with two guns and threatened the café's owner for a second time.

According to police, during the second argument, the man brandished his weapons and the store owner shot him in the chest with a shotgun. It is unknown if the man fired any shots.

Cleveland EMS transported the suspect to MetroHealth Medical Center where he died.

The man shot has been identified as 32-year-old Donte' Abrams of Cleveland.

Police said the store owner is licensed to carry a concealed weapon and will likely not be charged because he was defending himself. The case will be presented to the prosecutor’s office for review.

While Ohio's Castle Doctrine does not apply to situations outside a person's residence or vehicle, the test for the legal use of deadly force for self-defense has different considerations inside one's business.

According to Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson's book The Ohio Guide to Firearm Laws, "there is a different standard for self-defense in your home or business where, generally speaking, there is no duty to retreat. Please note that this does not mean that you can shoot someone within your home or business with impunity; rather, it indicates a much lower threshold to meet the test of whether or not you can employ lethal force in self-defense. Simply put, there is no duty to retreat in your home or your business."

A complete list of known incidents involving Ohio CHL-holders defending themselves is available here.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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