James R. Minshall Sr., the owner of JR’s Jewelry & Gifts in Omaha, Neb., died Sept. 17 after being shot in a botched robbery. He was 71.
An employee who said he was in the store during the incident told WOWT-TV that the robber took out a gun and ordered employees to fill a bag with jewelry.
“[Minshall] walks over to the counter, where he’s going to give him the jewelry,” the man said. “Told him to get back. He told him to get the bag. The boss walked to the back, and three shots rang out.”
Following the incident, Milton Dortch, 18, was booked on suspicion of first-degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony in connection with the murder, according to the Omaha Police Officers Association’s Facebook page.
According to local news reports, Dortch was identified from a surveillance photo, and the police believe there were more people involved.
In the wake of the incident, local residents filled the JR’s Jewelry Facebook page with condolences. A neighboring store owner told the Omaha World-Herald: “Jim always laughed and smiled when I saw him. He was the nicest guy on the planet. Why does this have to happen?”
Minshall is the second jeweler to be killed this year. On May 5, Muhammad H. Baig, 29, an employee of Victoria Jewelers in Richmond, Va., was killed during a robbery at his store.
The Jewelers’ Security Alliance cautions that during an armed robbery, employees should obey any orders and try not to panic or make any kind of movement, particularly abrupt movements. Furthermore, employees should not attempt to disarm the robber or reach for a weapon; they should not say or do anything that would anger the robber, nor should they press a holdup alarm.