Memphis Dollar Tree employee fatally shoots shoplifter, police say

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — A Dollar Tree employee was charged with second-degree murder after police say she shot and killed a man in the store’s parking lot Wednesday afternoon.

Others who work at the shopping center said the man who was killed was a Dollar Tree customer, and he was shot after he shoplifted at the bargain store.

“The man, he stole, I don’t know, like five dollars worth of stuff, and the lady went out and shot him,” one woman told NewsNation affiliate WREG.

The woman who didn’t want to be identified told us the victim was shot as he walked toward his car.

When police arrived at the shopping plaza just before 5 p.m., they discovered Dewyanne Reed dead in the parking lot.

Investigators said a witness told officers she was inside the Dollar Store getting ready to check out when she saw a store employee follow Reed out of the business and heard two gunshots.

The witness also told police she saw the Dollar Tree employee walk back into the store and put a black gun into her pants.

Police have identified that employee as 32-year-old Ashley Croom. They said Croom admitted that she shot Reed twice in the parking lot. Police, though, have not released a motive.

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“I think it’s crazy that it happened over like five dollars worth of stuff that’s insured,” one person told WREG.

The employee who didn’t want to be identified said Reed stole birthday or party supplies.

The Dollar Tree was closed to customers Friday, and the company released this prepared statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the incident and our thoughts are with those affected, their family members, and our local community.  We are cooperating fully with local law enforcement.  Since there is an active investigation, we are not able to provide further comment at this time.”

A spokesperson for Dollar Tree said employees are not allowed to be armed on the job, and Croom is no longer an employee.

Croom is being held on a $250,000 bond. She will make her first appearance before a judge on Monday.

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