Three people are facing charges after killing a security guard over a face mask dispute. According to the Associated Press, authorities in Michigan are considering the crime a first-degree premeditated murder.
The event unfolded last Friday in Flint, Michigan, after the daughter and sister of the suspects attempted to enter a Family Dollar but was turned away because she was not wearing a face covering. Security guard Calvin Munerlyn was enforcing a measure instituted by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer that requires customers to wear masks when shopping. According to reports, the guard’s refusal to let the customer into the store prompted her mother, Sharmel Teague, to argue with him. A time later, Teague’s husband, Larry Teague, and adult son, Ramonyea Bishop, returned to the store and killed Munerlyn.
“The hostile tone that we have seen in recent days on television and in social media can permeate our society in ways we sometimes don’t fully realize or anticipate,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton told reporters Monday. “Decisions like staying home when we can, wearing a mask when going to the store and staying a safe distance from those around us—these should not be political arguments. They don’t necessitate acts of defiance, and we simply cannot devolve into an us versus them mentality.”
Munerlyn is said to have been shot in the back of the head. Witnesses identified 23-year-old Ramonyea Bishop, Teague’s son, as the person who pulled the trigger. All three have received a first-degree premeditated murder charge and additional gun charges. Larry Teague was also found to be in violation of not wearing a face mask.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the husband and father of eight who went by the nickname “Duper” and is described by friends and family as a hard-working “protector and provider.”
On social media, Munerlyn’s sister tried to make sense of the tragedy, tweeting, “He told me he was going to be known nationwide, but this wasn’t supposed to be why. He was supposed to be a celebrity guard… I love you bro.”
On Sunday more than 100 people gathered for a candlelight vigil in Munerlyn’s honor. A makeshift memorial now sits outside the Family Dollar where the 43-year-old lost his life.