Three people have been charged with the fatal shooting of a Family Dollar store security guard in Flint, Michigan. The guard, a 43-year-old father was killed in a dispute over face masks, after enforcing a state-issued mandate requiring all individuals to wear a face covering of some kind while in enclosed public spaces, like stores, due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to a local prosecutor, only one of the individuals charged with Calvin Munerlyn's death is currently in custody and the other two are believed to be on the run.
"The death of Calvin Munerlyn is senseless and tragic and those responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extend under the law," Michigan Prosecuting Attorney 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 for the safety of store employees and customers."
According to Leyton, local police reported Munerlyn was working when, at around 1:40 p.m. local time on May `1, he approached one of the charged individuals to tell them they were required to wear a face mask while inside the store. The individual then began yelling at Munerlyn and reportedly spit at him, resulting in Munerlyn ordering the individual out of the store, according to police. Prosecutors said the individual's husband and son arrived at the Family Dollar store a short time after the altercation and shot Munerlyn in the back of the head. He was pronounced dead shortly after being transported to a local hospital.
In mid-April, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer revised her stay-at-home order to include a mandate specifying that residents must wear a face covering when in public enclosed spaces. "People won't have to wear face coverings when they're taking a walk in the neighborhood, but when they go to the grocery store, they should be wearing one," Whitmer said, according to ABC affiliate WZZM13. Whitmer's face covering mandate would have included the Family Dollar store where Munerlyn worked.
In an interview with CNN, Munerlyn's wife condemned the attack against him as "senseless and stupid." Latryna Munerlyn described her husband, who she parented eight children with, as having been "a devoted, loving, kind-hearted, courageous, brave, [and] committed" person who was "loved everywhere."
"Now my babies (are) without a father for the rest of their life," she told CNN, adding that Munerlyn had also been a father figure to many other kids in their area. "They are strong, and I say that man instilled something in them that can't nobody take away. My babies are super strong. They have been trying to cope with this."