Soon-to-be-married Home Depot employee shot dead while trying stop shoplifter in California

A California Home Depot loss prevention employee named Blake Mohs, 26, who was engaged to be married this August, was shot and killed Tuesday when he tried to stop a shoplifter who fled the scene with her boyfriend and 2-year-old child after gunning him down.

(Video Credit: KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco)

Mohs attempted to stop 32-year-old Benicia Knapps from stealing an electrical item that may have been a phone charger at the store on Johnson Drive in Pleasanton. She pulled a gun and shot him during the struggle, the Pleasanton Police Department said in a news release.

The shooting took place around 2:15 pm inside the store as Mohs and the suspect Benicia Knapps got into a physical confrontation and a “struggle ensued” after he chased her to the store’s loading dock. Knapps allegedly resisted Mohs and then shot him. She then reportedly got into a car with her 31-year-old boyfriend, David Guillory, and her toddler and fled the scene.

The young employee later died from his injuries after being rushed to the hospital. His wedding was set for August 12. Mohs is survived by his fiance, his parents, and his brother who are all grieving his loss and are in disbelief over what happened.

A handgun was recovered by the police at a nearby intersection. The two suspects were arrested in Oakland at around 2:30 pm. Knapps’ child was put in the care of relatives.

Knapps, a licensed security guard with priors for theft, was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder, robbery, child endangerment, and conspiracy, according to FOX2 KTVU.

Guillory was booked on charges of child endangerment, evading police, and driving the wrong way, according to online jail records.

Knapps was placed on a mental hold after she choked herself with a seatbelt in the back of the Alameda Sheriff’s Department police cruiser until she lost consciousness, according to CBS.

(Video Credit: KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco)

Scott Rodgers, Mohs’ friend, told FOX2 KTVU, that the victim was a longtime member of the Boy Scouts of America, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in 2014. Many spoke about what a wonderful person he was.

“He’s an incredible person,” Rodgers said. “Everybody loved Blake.”

Mohs reportedly met his fiance while they were volunteering with the Boy Scouts. They were going to hold their wedding reception at the camp where they first met.

“We were so excited for the two of them,” Rodgers sadly commented. “They truly loved each other.”

(Video Credit: ABC7 News Bay Area)

According to police, Mohs was well-known in the community. He helped keep customers and staff safe and he was involved in community youth programs. Mohs was called a model for the community by Pleasanton Mayor Karla Brown. He had an interest in pursuing law enforcement as a career as well.

“I am devastated by the loss of Blake Mohs in yesterday’s senseless shooting. Through his service to Tri-Valley organizations, Blake was a model for others. To have a life cut short is heartbreaking and infuriating,” Brown stated.

“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,” Lt. Erik Silacci stated at a press conference. “We lost a valuable member of our community, a person who served to protect his fellow co-workers and customers and was a valuable partner with law enforcement.”

Home Depot issued a statement that the company was “heartbroken over this senseless tragedy.”

“Blake was our associate and friend, and our hearts go out to his family and everyone who knew and loved him,” the statement said.



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