POLK COUNTY, Fla. – The co-owner of a Lakeland convenience store is charged with attempted murder after deputies said he chased an accused beer thief out of the store and shot him as he was driving away.
Officials with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said that at 11:40 p.m. Tuesday, 43-year-old Rennie Defoe Jr. walked into the Shell gas station store at 125 Combee Road North in Lakeland, picked up three 18-packs of Nature Ice beer and walked out of the store without paying.
Surveillance video shows Defoe grab the beer and walk out of the store, the video also shows the store's co-owners, 22-year-old Mehedeum Hasan and his 61-year-old father, Monsur Rahman, look at each other after seeing the man walk out with the beer. Hasan then runs out of the video frame, when he returns he has a gun and something else in his hands. He runs toward the store exit, dropping the handgun on the floor, the video shows.
Video outside the store shows Defoe tossing the beer into his car and then getting in. Hasan runs up to the vehicle driver’s side window pointing the gun at Defoe, the video shows. Deputies said that as Defoe backed out to leave, Hasan fired the weapon, shooting him in the arm and chest.
Hasan continued to chase Defoe’s vehicle as it drove out of the gas station parking lot, the video shows.
Defoe crashed his car near East Main Street and Fish Hatchery Road, deputies said. He was taken to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center where he is listed in critical condition.
Deputies said Defoe is a convicted felon and was released from prison in June.
On Wednesday, Hasan was arrested and charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle and attempted second-degree murder. He has no prior criminal history.
Deputies said the Natural Ice beer was worth about $36.
Watch the surveillance video below of the shooting.