Family of alleged robber killed by clerk speaks out

July 1, 2012 8:35:28 PM PDT
A man was killed last week while police say he was robbing a convenience store, and now his family says their loved one's death was not justified.

With her brother dead, Terri Rector's emotions were hard to contain.

"He had his flaws like all of us, but he did not deserve to be gunned down by some young person who thought they was a vigilante taking the law in their own hands," she said. "That was my brother. That was my brother, and that was wrong."

Troy Rector's family and community activists gathered Sunday outside the convenience store on Elgin near Dowling where he was shot and killed three days earlier, allegedly by the store clerk after he was trying to steal beer.

Rector died just a few feet from the door of the convenience store.

His family acknowledges he has a criminal history. Court records show he pleaded guilty to a theft charge this May. He was recently released from jail to a halfway house, but he walked away. Family members say mental illness is partly to blame.

"He was bipolar [and] he had schizophrenia," Rector's aunt, Glenda Banks, said.

Store workers said Rector has tried to steal beer from the store before. It will be up to a grand jury to make a final decision on whether the clerk will be charged with a crime.

Rector's family makes no excuses for his behavior, but wishes he was still alive.

"The reason we're here and representing our family is to say we know he was wrong," Banks said. "But when he put the beer down, then they should have let 911 take over."

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