Gas station owner arrested for shooting beer thief, deputies say

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Deputies say a Polk County gas station owner shot a man who was trying to steal $36 worth of beer. 

In surveillance video from Tuesday night, you can see Mehedeun Hasan working at his store with his dad. Investigators say Rennie Defoe Jr. then walks in and grabs three 18 packs of Bud Ice. 

The video shows Hasan’s dad follow Defoe out, and deputies say Hasan ran to grab a gun. Outside, Defoe is throwing the cases of beer into his before he hops in and is confronted by the two men. Cops say Hasan then shot into Defoe’s car. 

“The problem is -- Mehedeun cannot chase people out of the store who’s clearly going the other way and shoot them over grabbing three 18 packs of beer,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. 

Deputies say a wounded Defoe ended up crashing a few blocks away from the Lakeland gas station. 

A caller to 911 said, “He ended up in a ditch. He’s unresponsive now.” 

Investigators say Defoe is in critical condition. They say 22-year-old Hasan is charged with attempted second degree murder. 

“Thirty-six dollars retail value, he may very well lose his life,” Judd said about Defoe. “And if he’s convicted as charged for 36 dollars retail value, he’s gonna lose the rest of his life in prison,” he said about Hasan. 

A woman working at the store on Combee Road Wednesday declined to comment.