Blake Mohs Pleasanton Home Depot worker shot & killed trying to stop shoplifter and her partner. Benicia Knapps and David Guillory arrested, now face slew of charges amid surge in shoplifting in California area.
How much is a phone charger worth? A California Home Depot worker was shot and killed while trying to stop an alleged thief and her boyfriend, who fled with a two-year-old child in their car, prior to their eventual arrest.
Blake Mohs, 26, was fatally wounded during a struggle which took place after confronting the pair inside the store as they attempted to leave the Pleasanton outlet, east of San Francisco, Tuesday afternoon, circa 2.15pm.
The store was closed for the balance of Tuesday in the aftermath of the employee’s shooting death and scheduled to re-open to the public at 6am, Wednesday morning, KTVU reported.
The alleged shoplifters, Benicia Knapps, 32, and David Guillory, 31, were later arrested on suspicion of murder, robbery, child endangerment and conspiracy, according to police.
A handgun was recovered at an intersection near the Home Depot, cops said.
Stores forced into paying for protection against stealing
The shooting death comes amid rampant shoplifting in Oakland, with the retailer in 2019, paying police overtime to the tune of at least $2.1 million by 2021 – to guard its store.
Knapps had attempted to steal a phone charger, according to witnesses.
Police responded to calls of a man bleeding inside the store and rendered aid to the victim before he was rushed to a nearby hospital.
The Alameda County Coroner later confirmed the victim died, and Home Depot confirmed he was an employee.
‘We’re heartbroken over this senseless tragedy. Blake was our associate and friend, and our hearts go out to his family and everyone who knew and loved him,’ the retailer said in a statement.
Mohs was reportedly a Boy Scout leader who was engaged to be married to fiancée Kasey Silligman.
Pleasanton police Lt. Erik Silacci said Knapps had been attempting to steal an electrical item and was ‘determined to exit without paying.’
Slain worker was slated to marry in the summer
Mohs confronted her and a ‘physical confrontation ensues.’
Silacci said Knapps then pulled out a handgun and fired what would be fatal shots at Mohs.
‘She seemed determined to exit the store without paying,’ Silacci said. ‘Then she was confronted by Blake, the loss prevention agent, and that’s when a physical confrontation ensued. The female suspect pulled out a handgun and fired a shot at Blake.’
Of note, Knapps is a licensed security guard with a criminal history involving theft, according to California state records.
Her two-year-old child was apparently in the car at the time and was released to relatives.
Guillory was booked at Santa Rita Jail and Knapps was taken to the hospital and ‘will later be taken to jail.’
Trends in crime in Oakland
Police said Mohs was a well-known community member who helped keep customers and staff members safe. He was also involved in community youth programs, NBC Bay Area reported.
Mohs according to friends had been a volunteer with younger Boy Scouts, having himself reached the rank of Eagle Scout – the highest rank a Scout can earn before turning 18 – in 2014.
Mohs’ wedding website shows he was supposed to be married on August 12 at the campsite where he met Silligman, while they were both volunteering with the Scouts.
The shooting comes several months after an 83-year-old employee was fatally shoved at a Home Depot in North Carolina as he attempted to confront a thief with several hundred dollars worth of stolen goods.
The victim, Gary Rasor, died of his injuries weeks after the assault.
The suspect, 26-year-old Terry McAnthony McMillian Jr., was apprehended in January and charged with first-degree murder and robbery.