A dollar store security guard was allegedly gunned down by a Michigan man whose family was barred entry because one of them wasn’t wearing a face mask.
Ramonyea Bishop, 23, is accused of fatally shooting Calvin Munerlyn, 43, outside a Family Dollar in Flint, Michigan on Friday following a family dispute with the security guard over the store’s state-mandated policy regarding face masks, police said.
On May 1, around 1:40 p.m., Bishop’s mother, Sharmel Teague, and her daughter arrived at the dollar store. The 45-year-old mother was wearing a protective mask but her daughter was not, according to state police. Teague’s daughter exited the store.
“She was confronted by the security guard and advised, in order to come into the store, she needed to wear a face covering,” Lt. David Kaiser told Oxygen.com.
However, the Michigan mom became embroiled in a “verbal altercation” with the security guard, who ordered a cashier not to serve her. Teague allegedly spit on Munerlyn and left the store.
Authorities say Teague returned to the store with her husband, 44-year-old Larry Teague Jr., and her 23-year-old son. Bishop allegedly exited their gold Chevrolet Suburban, strolled up to the security guard, and opened fire on Munerlyn.
“When she comes back, she has her husband and her son with her,” Kaiser said. “The son walks up to the side of the security guard and shoots him almost point blank in the head. They then go ahead and depart the family dollar store.”
Investigators found Munerlyn bleeding from his head at the scene. He was pronounced dead shortly after.
“It is very, very cold-blooded — very tragic,” Kaiser added. “He was just trying to keep the employees safe, keep the general public safe, so we could all get out of our houses, and pick up the items we need to survive.”
Sharmel Teague was arrested on first-degree murder and felony firearm charges, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com. Her son and husband are also facing murder charges but authorities have yet to locate them. They're considered armed and dangerous.
“As we continue to look for these two suspects we ask that if anybody sees them, they immediately contact law enforcement,” Kaiser added.
Larry Teague Jr. and Bishop were also slapped with gun charges, including carrying a concealed weapon. Teague, who is prohibited from possessing guns due to past criminal convictions, also faces additional charges related to felon possession of a firearm. He's also charged with a separate count of violating the state’s executive order.
Teague pleaded guilty to drug possession and gun charges in 1998, separate court documents show. He also has a flurry of traffic infractions dating back several years. His wife and Bishop don’t appear to have criminal records.
Genesee County prosecutors confirmed the shooting was possibly fueled by the state’s executive order surrounding protective face masks.
“The death of Calvin Munerlyn is senseless and tragic,” county prosecutor David Leyton said in a statement. “From all indications, Mr. Munerlyn was simply doing his job in upholding the Governor’s Executive Order related to the COVID-19 pandemic. … It is important that the Governor’s order be respected and adhered to and for someone to lose their life over it is beyond comprehension.”
On April 24, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order that requires face masks to be worn in enclosed public places.
Munerlyn was hired by Family Dollar in 2019, executives said.
“We are aware of the tragic incident occurring at our Flint, Michigan store last Friday afternoon,” Randy Guiler, vice president of investor relations at Dollar Tree Inc., said in a statement sent to Oxygen.com. “We will continue to cooperate fully with local authorities on their investigation. As always, we are committed to ensuring a safe environment for our associates and customers. Out of respect for the family’s privacy, we are not commenting further at this time.”
Local authorities — and police agencies across the country — said they’ve seen a rise in some forms of violent crime during the coronavirus crisis, particularly in domestic violence reports. Quarantine measures, social distancing guidelines, and overall pandemic conditions have stoked tensions across the country, which law enforcement said has the very real potential to trigger violence.
“Recently we’ve seen a spike in violence, due to people staying at home, becoming angry, and frustrated, and expressing that anger in violent ways,” Kaiser, the Michigan State Police spokesperson, said. “With a national pandemic, a lot of people are suffering from anxiety — not being able to go out and do what they please. A lot of people are very angry and very upset.”
Sharmel Teague was arraigned on Monday at Flint’s 67th District Court. She’s being held without bond. Her next court appearance is scheduled for May 14 at 1 p.m.
Philip Beauvais, Teague’s public defender, wasn’t available for comment Tuesday.
In Michigan, premeditated murder convictions carry a life sentence without parole.
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