A 38-year-old convenience store customer learned Friday that having a permit to carry a concealed weapon doesn’t mean you should always use it.

Police arrested Shelby J. Jones, 38, on suspicion of first-degree assault for shooting a man fleeing a convenience store at 56th and Holdrege streets earlier this month with two bottles of stolen liquor.

Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister said Jones had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and had gone through mandatory training, which goes into detail about when use of force can and cannot be employed.

Police believe, after watching surveillance video from the store, collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses, that Jones should not have used the gun in the case of an unarmed man running from a store with two bottles of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey.

Nebraska law allows for the use of deadly force to protect oneself, another or one's property against the unlawful force by another if an individual believes it is immediately necessary.

When Tilian J. Tilian, 22, came into the Kwik Shop at 5600 Holdrege St., at about 1:30 a.m. and tried to steal the whiskey, the convenience store clerk stood in front of him and grabbed him to try to keep him from leaving, police said.

Jones saw what was happening, drew her handgun and stood between Tilian and the exit.

Tilian broke free from the clerk, ran past Jones and out of the store and Jones shot Tilian in the back of the arm, missing the store clerk, who had also left the store, Bliemeister said.

Police did not find a weapon on Tilian, who was treated and later released from a hospital. He has not yet been cited, but police haven’t finished their investigation.

People who carry concealed weapons have to quickly process a situation to determine when it’s appropriate to use force, Bliemeister said.

A store employee is allowed to try to physically stop someone from leaving the store, he said.

Neither Jones nor the clerk was injured.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7226 or mreist@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSreist.


Education reporter

Margaret Reist is a Lincoln native, the mom of three high school graduates now navigating college and an education junkie who covers students, teachers and policymakers inside and outside the K-12 classroom.

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