FLINT, Mich. (AP) — State police are investigating whether a security guard at a Family Dollar store in Michigan was fatally shot because he refused to allow a customer to enter without wearing a face mask to protect against transmission of the coronavirus.
Calvin Munerlyn, 43, was fatally shot Friday at the store just north of downtown Flint. Latryna Sims-Munerlyn said she was told her husband was shot during an argument over a mask, MLive.com reported Monday.
Police are looking into that as a possibility, state police Lt. Dave Kaiser told the newspaper. Kaiser declined to discuss the case with The Associated Press Monday, deferring instead to the Genesee County prosecutor’s office, which has scheduled an afternoon news conference.
Sims-Munerlyn said her husband had worked in the security profession about 30 years, but only a little over a year at the Family Dollar. One of their sons also worked at the store but wasn’t there Friday. He was told of the shooting by a co-worker.
“My son called me and he said, ‘Mama, you got to get to the store,’ and my heart just dropped,” Sims-Munerlyn said. “I said, ‘Why son?’ He said, ‘Mama, just go to the store.’”
About 150 people attended a candlelight vigil Sunday night.
Munerlyn’s mother, Bernadett, said she wants justice for her son.
“They didn’t have to take my baby and it wasn’t that serious,” she said. “All you people just have to do is listen to the law, listen to the governor. Just stay home. If you don’t have to come out, then you wouldn’t need a mask unless you’re out getting groceries or necessities. All my baby was doing was his job working and doing his job.”
Last month, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered that people have to wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces such as grocery stores.
As of Monday, Michigan had reported 43,754 confirmed COVID-19 virus cases and 4,049 deaths due to complications from the disease.