Umeir Hawkins and wife, Sabrina Carters charged in Gardena shooting of Jerry Lewis who entered local market without wearing a face mask.
Umeir Corniche Hawkins, 32, was working as a guard in a market in Gardena, Sunday when he began arguing with Jerry Lewis, 50, after he entered the store without a mask, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Lewis entered the store while waiting for a tow truck to repair two flat tires on his vehicle, Gardena police said in a Facebook release.
Under the state’s face-covering mandate, all residents must wear a mask while inside most public spaces according to Los Angeles CBS.
Lewis upon having left the store, only to soon return without a face mask once again, leading to him and Hawkins engaging in a physical fight.
Security guard wife intervenes with arms
That’s when Hawkins’ wife, Sabrina Carter — who was in the parking lot as she waited for her husband to get off work — armed herself and pointed the gun at the victim and other customers, according to the Gardena Police Department. Her intervention caused the fight to end.
As Lewis was walking away, Hawkins produced a firearm and allegedly opened fire on the victim, hitting him in the lower part of his body, police said. Lewis died at the scene.
Hawkins and Carter were arrested the following day KTLA5 reports.
Of note, both Hawkins and Carter were convicted in 2013 for assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, according to prosecutors.
Carter faces one count of possession of a handgun by a felon, as does Hawkins in addition to his murder charge.
Hawkins and Carter pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday. Bail for Hawkins, who faces up to life in prison, is set at $1 million and bail for Carter, who faces three years behind bars, is set at $30,000.
The pair are scheduled to return to L.A. County Superior Court on Friday.
Gardena Police continue to investigate.