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Flint Family Dollar security guard killed after turning away customer without mask

Detroit Free Press logo Detroit Free Press 5/5/2020 Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press
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Calvin Munerlyn worked hard to provide for his family as a security guard at Family Dollar in Flint.

His job was to keep customers safe.

Munerlyn, a father of nine, was gunned down after turning a customer away for trying to enter the store without a mask, according to authorities.

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On Monday, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton charged three suspects in the murder — 45-year-old Sharmel Teague, 44-year-old Larry Edward Teague Jr., and 23-year-old Ramonyea Bishop. 

"Decisions like staying home when we can, wearing a mask when going to the store and staying a safe distance from those around us, these should not be political arguments," Leyton said. "They don't necessitate acts of defiance and we simply cannot devolve into an us-versus-them mentality.

a group of people posing for the camera: Calvin James Munerlyn, 43, a security guard at the Family Dollar just north of downtown Flint, Michigan, was shot and killed after telling a woman her daughter needed a face mask while inside the store.

Calvin James Munerlyn, 43, a security guard at the Family Dollar just north of downtown Flint, Michigan, was shot and killed after telling a woman her daughter needed a face mask while inside the store.
© Genesee County Prosecutors Office

"We really need to make a commitment as a community ... to doing the things necessary to allow us to stay healthy and turn the page on this crisis altogether. If not for ourselves, we should do this for Calvin Munerlyn, who has lost his life needlessly and senselessly."

Officials said Sharmel Teague and her daughter went to the Family Dollar on East 5th Avenue about 1:40 p.m. on Friday. Security footage showed Munerlyn and Teague got into a verbal altercation after he told the woman that her daughter needed a face mask to enter the store. Teague began to yell and spit at Munerlyn, who asked her to leave the store and instructed a cashier not to serve her. 

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Under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order, everyone must wear a mask in all enclosed public spaces to halt the spread of COVID-19. If customers refuse to comply, businesses can turn them away. 

The security footage shows the two driving off in a red GMC Envoy. 

The same vehicle returned about 20 minutes later at 2:15 p.m. Two suspects, Larry Teague, Sharmel Teague's husband, and Ramonyea Bishop, her son, entered the store. Larry Teague confronted the security guard about disrespecting his wife and Bishop fatally shot him in the back of the head, Leyton said. The two men then left the store. 

Munerlyn was transported to Hurley Medical Center, where he later was pronounced dead. 

Whitmer sent her condolences to the Munerlyn family during her Monday news conference. 

“It is incredible the people that continue to show up to work to protect everyone else,” Whitmer said. “It’s incredibly sad that in this crisis, this life was lost.”

Munerlyn, also known as "Duper," leaves behind nine children and his wife, Leyton said. A GoFundMe page for Munerlyn, was created two days ago and has already raised more than $30,000. 

"Duper was a hardworking, father and husband who lost his life while doing his job securing the place of business and asking all customers to wear a mask for our own safety as well as others," reads a statement on the page. 

A candlelight vigil in Flint was held in his honor, drawing about 150 people, reports MLive

Flint District 1 Commissioner Bryant Nolden said he knew Munerlyn most of his life and would see him training others free of charge at the Berston Field House in Flint. 

"Calvin was a great guy. … He was just an all-around good guy. When I found out what had happened to him, it really broke my heart because I knew what kind of person he was," Nolden said. "This was extremely senseless over a mask. ... We need to stop the senseless violence in the community. This was totally uncalled for, he didn't bother a soul. All he wanted to do was take care of his family and he always had his kids with him. This is a real loss for this community and really it's a big loss for me as an individual." 

Both suspects are still at large and are considered armed and dangerous, Leyton said. Sharmel Teague is in custody and awaiting arraignment charges in the 67th District Court. 

Anyone with information on Larry Teague and Ramonyea Bishop is asked to call 911. 

Free Press reporter Miriam Marini contributed to this report. 

Meredith Spelbring is a news intern with the Detroit Free Press. Reach her at mspelbring@freepress.com or on Twitter @mere0415.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Flint Family Dollar security guard killed after turning away customer without mask

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