A Stateline convenience store clerk won’t face criminal charges for shooting and killing a robber who was armed with a pellet gun, Kootenai County prosecutors said Tuesday.
“In order to prosecute a shooter who is a clerk like that, we would have to show beyond a reasonable doubt that his actions were unjustified,” Chief Deputy Prosecutor Lansing Haynes said. “The evidence just doesn’t support it was unjustified.”
Jeffrey A. Hayes, the 47-year-old clerk who shot and killed Joseph Kalani Hatchie, couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday. According to reports from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, Hayes said Hatchie came into Lew’s Smoke Shop the evening of Dec. 26, stuck a gun into his chest and demanded cash.
Hayes told a sheriff’s deputy that Hatchie put the gun into his pocket, and that’s when Hayes pulled his own gun from beneath the counter and fired, striking Hatchie 10 times.
Deputy Gary Dagastine said in the incident report that the plastic gun Hatchie displayed, which fires plastic BBs, “resembled a real firearm.”
Haynes said the investigation into the case took two and half months because there were some “unanswered questions about the shooting.” He declined to specify what those questions were, but Haynes said testing was done to determine if either Hayes or Hatchie were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
No evidence was found that either was, Haynes said.
Hatchie, a father and stepfather to seven children, lived in Greenacres, Wash., with his wife, Kim.
Kim Hatchie previously said the family was facing eviction from their home and had several medical bills.