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A disturbing but telling story is playing out in Pennsylvania. Two men robbed a local store, but were killed by a private citizen who confronted them before they could get away. Now the families of the criminals want to sue the man who stopped a crime, because he killed their loved ones.

It's not fair," said Virginia Medina, mother of 24-year-old William Medina, who police said robbed Krick's Korner store alongside 18-year-old Robert De Carr on Monday.

The two men were shot and killed by a private citizen while leaving the store, and family members want to see charges pressed.

"[William] had no right to lose his life over something that man could have called the police for," said Medina. "He took the law into his own hands and walked away scot-free."

"How about if people just start running around here, policing the city on their own? How much worse is it going to get?" said Peter Ratel, Medina's cousin.

The family members said they are hurt by comments suggesting the alleged robbers were "thugs."

According to Medina, William was "no big hard criminal" and was rather a family-man who loved his young daughter.

Robert De Carr was described similarly by his sister, Taylor De Carr.

"My brother was a good kid," she told 69 News.

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While we may feel some empathy for the families of the deceased, the police report on the incident adds some facts to the case. The two masked robbers emerged from the store and were immediately confronted by the hero. He told them to stop and wait for the police to arrive. At this point the masked thugs pulled their weapons to take aim at the innocent man. This is when he opened fire, killing the two criminals. Thanks to security camera footage and witnesses, the man won’t be charged with a crime like these hoodlums’ families want, nor can he be sued. Pennsylvania has something called the Castle Doctrine which prohibits the hero from being sued in civil court as well.

The families of the thugs may be hurting from their loss, but their reaction belies a greater problem in modern American culture. Culturally we have lost the ability to feel shame or understand responsibility. The families blame a passerby who was legally carrying a firearm (proving he has no criminal record) for trying to stop their relatives from committing a violent crime – instead of being angry with their kin for putting on masks, pulling guns, and violently attacking another person.

robberyMoreover, the hero didn’t shoot them as they exited the store. He warned them to stop and wait for police and these thugs chose to instead pull their guns to shoot him. The sister of one of the men said “My brother was a good kid.” No, he wasn’t. He was the type of evil person who could terrify someone else with the idea that they might die, just so he could steal their hard earned money. He was a bad man and as harsh and mean as it sounds, his death means that the community is safer.

We also apparently need to educate these folks on the purpose of the police. Generally, the police do not stop crimes, they investigate them and then punish them. It is up to us, the average citizen who may see the crime being committed, to STOP crime from happening. I don’t think most people would advocate for vigilantism, but most of us do teach our children that when they see wrong being committed it’s their responsibility to take action.

The man who killed these thugs is a hero, not for killing them, but for being willing to right the wrong that he saw happening. These thugs are dead, not because he got involved, but because they chose to commit a violent crime.

Stop making excuses and start taking responsibility. Our freedom, our liberty, is not some faraway idea that is out there for the government to protect – it’s up to each of us to defend it. We should reward those who do, not defame them.

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