Vigilante lady shoots at thief but hits the wrong person

Female bystander tried to stop a shoplifter escaping but ended up shooting and wounding a store employee instead.


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Female vigilante Nya Reyes
Nya Reyes

Sometimes, trying to do the right thing can get you in trouble.

Certainly, this appears to be the case for a would-be female vigilante who was off-target with her firearm as she attempted to take out a thief in Phoenix at the weekend.

The woman was aiming at an alleged shoplifter but missed the bad guy and instead shot an employee at an Ace Hardware Saturday morning, police said.

Although she was using a gun, not a crossbow, the case is reminiscent of another would-be savior, the Massachusetts William Tell, who was tragically off-target when he tried to save a man being mauled by dogs. In the incident last year, the unintended target sadly died.

Fortunately, this time, the Ace employee’s injuries were not fatal.

The incident happened in the area of 32nd Street and Indian School Road at about 9:15 a.m.

According to court paperwork, officers received a report of a an individual shooting a gun at a vehicle in front of the business. The suspect, 45-year-old Nya Reyes was detained by police and said she was walking her dog when she saw two people running from the exit of Ace Hardware carrying white buckets and being chased by store employees.

Court documents indicate one of the individuals was the suspect and another individual was actually an Ace employee who was running after the shoplifting suspect.

According to police, Reyes fired her weapon as the suspect’s vehicle began to drive off with the Ace employee nearby. The employee was shot in the knee and was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Although both the shooter and the wounded employee stayed at the scene to speak with the police, the shoplifting suspect was nowhere to be found by the time officers got there.

Reyes has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm in city limits.

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