May 5 (UPI) — Three people have been charged with murder in the shooting death of a Flint, Mich., security guard, who was killed after a confrontation with a customer over wearing a state-mandated face mask in a dollar store, prosecutors said.
A woman has been arrested and two male relatives are suspects at-large in the homicide of Calvin Munerlyn, 43, who was shot in the head and died later Friday in a hospital, said Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton, who called the shooting “senseless and tragic.”
“The hostile tone we have seen in recent days on television and on social media can permeate our society,” Leyton said at a press conference Monday. “We simply cannot devolve into an ‘us-versus-them’ mentality. We need to make a commitment as a community to do the things that allow us to stay healthy.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered all Michigan residents to wear face masks in enclosed public spaces. Heavily armed protesters objecting to the state’s stay-at-home orders stormed the state Capitol on Thursday in Lansing.
Prosecutors said Munerlyn and Sharmel Teague, 45, got into a confrontation Friday about 1:40 p.m., at the Family Dollar store, after the guard confronted her daughter in the store about not wearing a mask.
Teague was wearing a mask, surveillance video showed, but she argued with Munerlyn and spit on him, prosecutors said.
Teague then left in an SUV, but two men, later identified as her husband, Larry Edward Teague, 44, and son, Ramonyea Bishop, 23, returned to the store. Larry Teague argued with the guard, saying his wife had been disrespected, police said.
Witnesses told police Bishop shot Munerlyn and the two men fled.
Sharmel Teague is awaiting arraignment in the Genesee County jail.
All three suspects face charges of first-degree premeditated murder, with a mandatory sentence of life without parole if convicted. Bishop also faces weapons charges and Sharmel Teague faces charges of violating state orders to wear face masks.
Munerlyn, nicknamed “Duper” by his family, was a husband and father of eight children, a GoFundMe account for funeral expenses said.
“Duper was a hard-working father and husband who lost his life while doing his job securing the place of business and asking all customers to wear a mask for our own safety as well as others,” family friend Courtney Ce Ce Cabine wrote.
Michigan reported 43,754 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,049 deaths as of Sunday, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.