Home Depot employee shot and killed by shoplifter mourned by community

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(PLEASANTON, Calif.) — A Home Depot employee has been shot killed after confronting a female shoplifter who was making her way to a getaway vehicle with her child inside.

The incident occurred at approximately 2:15 p.m. Tuesday inside the Home Depot located on 6000 Johnson Drive in Pleasanton, California — approximately 40 miles north of San Jose — when 26-year-old Blake Mohs confronted a female shopper who tried to resist him, according to the Pleasanton Police Department.

Mohs, who was a Home Depot loss prevention employee at the store, approached 32-year-old Benicia Knapps in an attempt to stop an alleged theft when a “struggle ensued and the man was shot,” police said.

Following the shooting, the Pleasanton Police Department confirmed Mohs, a Tri-Valley resident, died from his injuries.

“During the investigation, detectives determined Mohs confronted a female shoplifter who resisted and shot him,” said the Pleasanton Police Department in a statement following the shooting. “The suspect, Benicia Knapps (32), ran to a getaway car driven by a male suspect, David Guillory (31). Knapp’s child was also inside the vehicle.”

Just 15 minutes later at approximately 2:30 p.m., deputies with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office were able to locate the vehicle and successfully detain the suspects near the 7000 block of Ney Avenue in Oakland, California, and a handgun was recovered in a nearby intersection.

“I am devastated by the loss of Blake Mohs in yesterday’s senseless shooting. Through his service to Tri-Valley organizations, Blake was a model for others. To have a life cut short is heartbreaking and infuriating. I’m joined by the City Council in offering our deepest condolences to Blake’s family, friends, loved ones, and to everyone impacted by this tragedy,” said Mayor Karla Brown in the aftermath of the killing.

“Blake was a well-known member of the community who helped keep customers and staff safe,” said the Pleasanton Police Department. “He was involved in community youth programs and planned to be married in the summer. He is survived by his parents, brother, and fiancée.”

Both Knapps and Guillory are currently being held in custody by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and the child who was found in the getaway vehicle was released to relatives.

Anybody with information about this incident is asked to contact the Pleasanton Police Department at (925) 931-5100.

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