3 charged after Family Dollar security guard shot, killed over COVID-19 face mask requirement

Coronavirus: Security guard allegedly shot over face mask

FLINT, Mich. — Prosecutors in Michigan have charged three people in the death of a security guard who was killed Friday at a Family Dollar following an argument with a customer who refused to wear a mask inside the store.

Calvin James Munerlyn, 43, of Flint, was shot in the head shortly after 2 p.m. at the store. Authorities on Monday confirmed statements made over the weekend by Munerlyn’s family members, who said his shooting stemmed from his attempt to make a female customer wear a mask, a requirement put in place by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last month.

Content Continues Below

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton announced Monday afternoon that Ramonyea Travon Bishop, 23, Larry Edward Teague, 44, and Sharmel Lashe Teague, 45, all of Flint, are charged in connection with Munerlyn’s killing. All three defendants are charged with first-degree premeditated murder and felony firearm charges, Leyton said.

Bishop is also charged with carrying a concealed weapon, as is Larry Teague. Teague is charged with additional felony firearms charges and violation of the governor’s executive order.

Sharmel Teague was in custody Monday evening. Larry Teague, her husband, and Bishop, her son, were still at large and were being sought by police.

Sharmel Lashe Teague, 45, of Flint, Mich., is charged in connection with the killing of a Family Dollar security guard Friday, May 1, 2020. Authorities say Teague is accused of spitting on Calvin James Munerlyn, 43, before leaving and getting her husband and son, who returned and killed Munerlyn. The guard had refused to allow Teague into the store without a face mask.
Sharmel Lashe Teague, 45, of Flint, Mich., is charged in connection with the killing of a Family Dollar security guard Friday, May 1, 2020. Authorities say Teague is accused of spitting on Calvin James Munerlyn, 43, before leaving and getting her husband and son, who returned and killed Munerlyn. The guard had refused to allow Teague into the store without a face mask. (Genesee County Prosecutor's Office via AP)

Anyone with information about their whereabouts or the shooting itself is asked to call the Flint Police Department at 810-237-6800. Tips can also be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers of Flint & Genesee County at 1-800-422-5245, by using the P3TIPS mobile app or by visiting CrimeStoppersofFlint.com.

“The death of Calvin Munerlyn is senseless and tragic, and those responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent under the law,” Leyton said in a statement. “From all indications, Mr. Munerlyn was simply doing his job in upholding the governor’s executive order related to the COVID-19 pandemic for the safety of store employees and customers.”

Leyton said in a news release that Sharmel Teague got into an argument with Munerlyn around 1:40 p.m. Friday at the store after he told her she needed to wear a face mask while shopping. Whitmer’s executive order, which went into effect April 27, requires that masks be worn in any enclosed public space to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The order allows businesses to refuse service to anyone not in compliance with the requirement.

“Teague began yelling at Munerlyn and spit at him, and Munerlyn told her to leave the store and instructed a cashier not to serve her,” the prosecutor said.

Teague left the store but her husband and son arrived a short time later and confronted Munerlyn, Leyton said.

“Bishop is then alleged to have pulled a gun and shot Munerlyn in the back of the head,” the news release said.

3 charged in Flint Family Dollar store homicide over COVID-19 mask dispute.

Posted by Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton on Monday, May 4, 2020

Flint police officers arrived at the store at 2:14 p.m. and found Munerlyn lying on the floor, bleeding and unconscious. He was rushed to Hurley Medical Center, where he died.

Munerlyn’s wife, Latryna Sims-Munerlyn, told MLive.com that her husband, who worked as a security guard at the store for a little over a year, was on duty when she received a phone call from their son, who also worked at the store but was not at work when the shooting took place.

“My son called me and he said, ‘Mama, you got to get to the store,' and my heart just dropped,” Sims-Munerlyn said. “I said, ‘Why son?' He said, ‘Mama, just go to the store.’”

Sims-Munerlyn said she arrived to find yellow crime scene tape up outside and knew her husband was gone.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, left, wearing a mask, addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Friday, May 1, 2020.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, left, wearing a mask, addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Friday, May 1, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP)

Michigan has been a hotbed of criticism after Whitmer signed the executive order late last month. The governor on Saturday signed an order extending the current requirement until May 29.

“We must continue protecting the health and safety of both consumers and employees at our grocery stores and pharmacies, which we rely on more than ever during this unprecedented public health crisis,” Whitmer said. “Michigan has begun flattening the COVID-19 curve, but we must not take our progress for granted and continue taking aggressive action to avoid further spread of this deadly disease.”

Hundreds of people -- few wearing masks but many armed with semi-automatic rifles -- swarmed the Michigan Capitol Thursday in protest of Whitmer’s strict guidelines.

Protesters carry rifles outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., April 15, 2020. Armed citizens unhappy with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's coronavirus lockdown have spent weeks protesting the measures.
Protesters carry rifles outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., April 15, 2020. Armed citizens unhappy with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's coronavirus lockdown have spent weeks protesting the measures. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

As of Thursday, Michigan had more than 41,000 COVID-19 cases, with more than 3,700 deaths. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, those numbers had gone up to nearly 44,000 cases with 4,049 deaths by Sunday afternoon.

Along with his wife, Munerlyn leaves behind eight children and his mother, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help the family bury the man loved ones affectionately called “Duper,” as in super-duper.

“Duper was a hard-working father and husband who lost his life while doing his job securing (his) place of business and asking all customers to wear a mask for our own safety, as well as others,” reads the page, which, as of Monday morning, had exceeded the $10,000 goal by more than $2,500.

I love you pop R.I.H you went too soon. I have always keep you in my heart I remember when I first graduated you were so...

Posted by Tay-Tay Munerlyn on Sunday, May 3, 2020

Sims-Munerlyn described her husband as a devoted father who taught their children everything, according to MLive.com. She said he also did everything he could to help others in their community.

Munerlyn’s mother, Bernadett Munerlyn, described her son as “a beautiful person” who loved his family dearly.

The grieving mother urged people to follow the restrictions set in place by the governor.

“I just want to see justice done for my baby. They didn’t have to take my baby and it wasn’t that serious,” Munerlyn told MLive.com. “All you people just have to do is listen to the law, listen to the governor. Just stay home.

“If you don’t have to come out, then you wouldn’t need a mask unless you’re out getting groceries or necessities. All my baby was doing was his job. Working and doing his job.”