Store Worker Charged With Murder of Shoplifter

( – When a Kansas City store worker tried to stop a shoplifter, he was thinking about protecting his workplace from criminals — but now he’s facing a murder charge. When Carl Kemppainen challenged two thieves who were robbing the store, a fight broke out between employees and criminals. It ended with one of the shoplifters dead. Now the law is being deployed against one of those who tried to uphold it.
On September 19, Kemppainen was working at O’Reilly Auto Parts on Parallel Parkway, Kansas City. Around 6 p.m., 23-year-old Diamond Steen and another man entered the store and, allegedly, started stealing products. Kemppainen and another employee called the police then challenged the pair and a fight broke out. The employees followed the suspected thieves out of the store and detained them — but in the scuffle, Steen’s airway was blocked, and by the time cops arrived he was dead and his companion had suffered minor injuries.
Kemppainen was arrested and charged with “unintentional but reckless” second-degree murder on September 21. Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree told journalists, “It is law enforcement’s job to do the policing, no one else’s” and added that even if a crime is suspected, “you still have to go to the court.” Meanwhile, Steen’s family complained that the store employees shouldn’t have gotten involved beyond calling the police.
Dupree said that although Kemppainen is white and Steen is black, he doesn’t believe race was a factor in the incident. He warned that other charges could follow as investigators watch video of the fight that’s been widely distributed on social media and go through “a plethora of evidence.” He also said three other people could face indictments. Meanwhile, Kemppainen was taken to the Wyandotte County Detention Center and booked; he was later released after posting a $125,000 bond.
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