DES MOINES, IA – A 30-year-old woman accused of launching an unprovoked attack inside of a Des Moines grocery store was non-fatally shot by the female patron she allegedly attacked, with the suspect now facing assault charges in relation to the incident.

Officials say the incident occurred on June 19th at the Hy-Vee grocery store located off of 2540 E. Euclid Avenue at approximately 10:00 a.m., where authorities assert 30-year-old Kapri Lashawn Francis had attacked another woman inside of the store unprovoked.

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Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek stated, “The preliminary investigation of this incident indicates that the suspect and one of the victims were involved in a spontaneous dispute within the store prior to the shooting.”

The victim, whose name has not been released by authorities, reportedly fired a single shot at Francis during the attack, striking the suspect in the leg. That same bullet, according to authorities, then ricocheted and hit a male customer’s foot inside of the store.

After receiving medical treatment at an area hospital, Francis was arrested and charged with assault causing bodily injury. Sgt. Parizek added that following witness interviews and other available evidence, investigators determined “that the shooter in this incident acted in self-defense after being violently assaulted.”

Remarking on whether the victim and suspect were at all familiar with each other prior to the incident, Sgt. Parizek stated their relationship can be “best described as acquainted with a history of conflict between the two.”

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In light of recent events – such as Buffalo – involving shootings inside of grocery stores, the incident did leave customers and employees shaken up.

Michell Boyum, who owns a business that resides next to the grocery store, spoke with a local news outlet about the incident, claiming that one of the Hy-Vee employees ran up to them when the gunshot went off.

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“I decided to come over here to the corner, and I was like, what’s going on? One of the employees was down here crying, and she ran to me. And she was like, ‘There was a shooting,’ and I immediately grabbed her because she’s maybe 17 years old.”

Sgt. Parizek acknowledged how such an incident playing out inside of a grocery store could render such reasonable alarm, highlighting that the Des Moines Police Department responded both quickly and appropriately.

“We’ve certainly got a high level of awareness and preparedness for these things. And when we hear something like this happen we treat it like it’s the real deal. And I think you saw that response up there today. There was a heavy police presence, responding with the thought that we need to save people.”

Sharing her perspective on the incident, criminal defense attorney Katherine Sears explained that the use of force employed by the victim is perfectly legal under the circumstances.

“Iowa law allows for the use of reasonable force to stop someone from hurting you, or someone else and that includes deadly force under certain circumstances.”

Sears also acknowledged the aspect of the bystander who was accidentally injured via the ricocheted bullet, noting that the victim is also highly unlikely to face any repercussions for that incidental element.

“There’s a statute that says that a person who reasonably uses force as authorized by that chapter is immune from criminal or civil liability for any damages caused in the exercise of that force.”

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