Michigan State Police investigators are looking into reports that a Flint dollar store security guard was fatally shot Friday after an argument with a customer who refused to wear a mask in the store.
The 43-year-old guard was shot in the head at about 2:15 p.m. Friday at the Family Dollar store at 877 Fifth Ave. He later died in an area hospital. Police are not yet releasing the name of the guard.
Michigan State Police 1st Lt. David Kaiser said Sunday that detectives are investigating a flood of reports on social media from people who say the violence sparked when the guard told a customer he had to wear a mask, a policy set forth by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’re seeing a lot of these reports on social media, so we're investigating them," Kaiser said. "We'll talk to all the potential witnesses."
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton was expected to hold a press conference Monday, Kaiser said. No time was announced.
No one answered the phone at the Family Dollar store on Sunday.
A GoFundMe page was created in the guard's honor. More than $3,000 was raised by Sunday. He leaves behind a wife and eight kids, the page said.
Whitmer's extended stay-home order went into effect April 27, allowing businesses to refuse service to customers who don't wear face masks.
No criminal penalties are attached to the order, but state officials strongly encourage customers to wear them..
Michigan reported 43,754 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Sunday and 4,049 deaths. In Genesee County, there are 1,634 cases and 196 deaths.