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home : news : law enforcement March 5, 2021

12/16/2020 11:01:00 PM
Shoplifting Incident Escalates To Murder

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

An employee of a Shelby sporting goods store is in jail charged with first degree murder after fatally shooting a shoplifter on Monday (Dec. 14th).

22-year-old Jacob Wesley Isenhour, who works for Dunham Sports in the Cleveland Mall, shot 33-year-old Bryan Allen Francis in a wooded area near the Hampton Inn just west of the mall around 1 PM Monday afternoon.

Before he ran, police say Francis put down a backpack taken from the store filled with men's shirts and small camping equipment items.

They found a BB gun near Francis's body, but were unsure whether it fell out of a holster or had been drawn before he was shot. A half dozen witnesses said they saw Francis run across the mall parking lot toward the Hampton Inn with Isenhour in pursuit, but none of them said they saw Francis point the BB gun at Isenhour. Isenhour shot Francis with a 9mm handgun. Witnesses indicated that after a verbal encounter, Francis started to walk away and was then shot by Isenhour.

Police said Francis was from West Virginia but had been visiting Shelby in recent weeks.

Isenhour has been charged with first degree murder, carrying a concealed weapon and discharging a firearm inside city limits. He is in the Cleveland County Jail without bond. His first court appearance is scheduled for Monday (Dec. 21st).

"If only he had called us," Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford said.

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