Folsom family reacts to decision not to charge man in convenience store killing

Family of shooting victim in Mandeville speaks out

MANDEVILLE, LA (WVUE) - A Folsom family spoke out for the first time Tuesday about the St. Tammany district attorney's decision not to prosecute a man who shot a father of five.

Shawn Breland's shooting was ruled justifiable homicide by both the St. Tammany D.A. and the Mandeville Police chief

A surveillance documents Breland's last moments.

"Kind of giving him some grief right here," said Mandeville Police Chief Rick Richard, reviewing the video.

Breland had gone into a convenience store on Highway 22 in Mandeville on April 4, when he began arguing with the clerk.

"Here he comes start throwing stuff," said Richard, looking st the video.

The clerk asked Breland to leave and called 911.

"He was not pleased the clerk was Middle Eastern descent," said Richard.

The argument escalated inside and outside the store, as a legally armed customer showed up and tried to get Breland's license plate.

"Then that dude threatened Shawn and said he'd shoot him. Shawn went in," said Breland's friend, Joseph Pierre, who waited in the van for Breland.

The fight escalates. In the video, Breland appears to be ripping the shirt off the armed man, who gets backed into the corner.

"I heard bam, bam, bam, three shots in a row," said Pierre.

Breland was fatally shot in the back of the store. Now, Breland's family is reacting for the first time.

"I can't watch the video, I can't," said Dennis Lee, Breland's father-in-law.

"He loved his kids and family and loved by a lot of people," said Linda Lee, Breland's mother-in-law.

Many believe if the third man wouldn't have been armed, Breland would still be alive. But the police chief said the shooter's behavior was appropriate and legal.

"Gentleman was legally armed, he was not violating any law, and that's the way it played out, and it's unfortunate someone was killed," said Richard.

Relatives said Breland's death is roughest on his youngest of five children.

"He's told his ma he needs to talk to somebody at night," said Dennis Lee.

The criminal case is closed. The district attorney has backed up Richard's decision not to charge the shooter in this case.

"There was a lot of thought given into this, and they agreed this was a justifiable shooting," said Richard.

But the family believes there should have been a different outcome.

"It's real hard for everyone to comprehend what happened," said Linda Lee.

Breland's relatives say they are thinking about filing  a civil lawsuit in the matter.

The store clerk is back at work, but declined comment.

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