Friday, June 4, 2004

Store owner cleared in robber's death

By Sharon Coolidge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen will not seek criminal charges against a Roselawn convenience-store owner who fatally shot an armed man intending to rob the store May 27.

Abdrab "Abe" Ashishi, of West Chester was defending himself when he killed David Billups, 40, of Forest Park, Allen said Thursday.

Ohio law allows for a person to use lethal force in the defense of himself and others.

Allen determined no crime had been committed, so the case did not go to a grand jury.

In a similar scenario, a Hamilton County grand jury last year declined to indict a member of Citizens on Patrol after he shot a robbery suspect in a Northside bar.

The Roselawn shooting unfolded quickly, Allen said.

Shortly before 10 p.m., Ashishi was alone in the back of the Shop Rite at 7911 Reading Road, preparing to close when he saw Billups, dressed all in black, his face disguised by a white Halloween mask, behind the store's counter, according to reports.

Billups was carrying what appeared to be a gun, but was later found to be a toy, Allen said.

When Billups pointed it at Ashishi, Ashishi grabbed his 9mm semi-automatic pistol and shot Billups five times as Billups ran for the door. Ashishi had the gun legally, Allen said. He carried the gun openly and was using it to protect his business, he said.

"He did what he had the legal right to do - he got his weapon and fired." Allen said.

Ashishi called 911 to report he shot somebody trying to rob him.

Allen described Billups as a career criminal. He was released from prison April 1 after serving 15 years of a 14-to-50-year sentence from Franklin County on charges of receiving stolen property, carrying a concealed weapon, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and kidnapping.


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