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VIDEO: Florida convenience store owner arrested for shooting beer thief

LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) - A Polk County man is facing charges after deputies say he shot a thief stealing beer from the convenience store he co-owns with his father.

The incident happened around 11:40 Tuesday night at the Shell gas station on Combee Road North in Lakeland.

Deputies say 43-year-old Rennie Defoe Jr. went into the store, grabbed three 18-packs of Natural Ice beer worth $36, and walked out of the store without paying. 

When Defoe walked out of the store, deputies say 22-year-old Mehedeun Hasan grabbed a 9mm handgun from the office and ran out to confront Defoe. Hasan co-owns the gas station with his father, 61-year-old Q M Monsur Rahman.

Surveillance video from outside the store shows Defoe tossing the stolen beer into the passenger seat of his car and then getting in and shutting the door. Hasan is then seen running up to the car and pointing the gun at Defoe. 

Deputies say Hasan shot Defoe as he was backing his car up to leave. Defoe continued to drive away and then crashed at the intersection of East Main Street and Fish Hatchery Road, according to a sheriff's office report.

Defoe was taken to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center to be treated for a gunshot wound to his left arm and chest. He's currently in critical condition.

Deputies arrested Hasan on Wednesday and charged him with shooting into an occupied vehicle and attempted second-degree murder. The sheriff's office says he has no prior criminal history.

Deputies say Defoe has 12 prior felony charges and nine prior misdemeanors including robbery, firing a missile into a dwelling, battery, grand theft and grand larceny. He's been sentenced to Florida State prison four times and was most recently released just last month, on June 12.


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