Jonathan Hart was a 21-year-old Black gay man who was homeless in the Los Angeles area. On December 4, he was reportedly shot and killed in the back by a security guard in a Walgreens in Hollywood. He was allegedly shoplifting, but eyewitnesses say he was not trying to steal.
His friend Aaliyah Haughto, who was with him, told KTLA 5, “A lot of awful words were exchanged, and we were then followed to the end of the store to complete our transaction. An altercation broke out again, scuffle happened, shoves were met.”
She said the “security guard made another advance following that clash, which prompted Hart to head for the exit” and “the security guard pulled out his weapon and fired.” He was reportedly shot in the back. The 21-year-old later died at the hospital.
Hart’s mother, Psychesia Hart, who is a security guard, told KTLA, “This mistake of a human being, because he had a badge and a gun, felt like he had every right to pull a weapon on my child. First off, you’re security. Our job as security officers: observe and report. But don’t pull no gun on nobody and shoot them in the back. What kind of coward are you?”
Even if Hart was shoplifting, there is no excuse to shot someone in the back. Additionally, Walgreens’ security guards should not have guns.
Walgreens issued a statement, saying the company was “deeply concerned about this incident and the loss of life” and is “gathering facts and fully cooperating with law enforcement.”
See the video below of the vigil for Jonathan Hart, who went by the name Sky Young.