Home Depot employee killed trying to stop theft

Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 8:29 PM MDT
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PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) - Police say a Home Depot loss prevention employee was shot and killed Tuesday in California.

Officials say the employee, identified as 26-year-old Blake Mohs, was working as an unarmed loss prevention specialist when he tried to stop a theft in progress at a Home Depot near Interstate 580.

“Unfortunately, Blake’s life was cut short by this senseless act of violence that started with a theft and turned into a robbery and ended in his murder,” Pleasanton Police Department Lt. Erik Silacci said.

Police say the incident started when a 32-year-old woman was trying to leave the store through the back loading dock with an electronic device she did not pay for.

“And then she was confronted by Blake and that’s when a physical confrontation ensued. The female suspect pulled out a handgun and fired a shot at Blake,” Silacci said.

The shooter then got into a getaway car, according to police.

Witnesses in the store’s parking lot say they saw a gun thrown from the car before the vehicle was later tracked to Oakland by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

That’s where they took the suspect into custody as well as a 31-year-old man accused of driving the getaway car.

In the backseat, police found the suspect’s 2-year-old child, who was later reunited with their family.

“We lost a valuable member of our community,” Silacci added.

Police say Mohs was a son, a brother and an Eagle Scout. He was also a fiance set to be married in August in Sonoma County, according to the couple’s wedding website.

“Blake was a good person. I mean, he was like your go-to friend. Like, ‘Hey, Blake. Do you want to go hang out? Yeah sure! Blake, do you want to go grab a beer? Yeah,’” David, a family friend said.

The family friend went to school with Mohs and still lives next to his parents. He followed the shooting since it happened Tuesday, but said he was shocked Wednesday morning to find out who the victim was.

“Every time I’ve seen him at work, he had a real enthusiastic mood about him. He wasn’t just there to do his job. He was actually enjoying his work. I came in and it was like he wasn’t even working there. It was just like talking to a friend,” David added.

Home Depot released a statement Tuesday night saying they were heartbroken over the tragedy and called Mohs an associate and friend.

The suspects are facing a number of crimes, including murder, robbery, child endangerment and conspiracy with the possibility of more charges.