Probation for woman who shot at Home Depot shoplifters

Detroit News staff and wire reports

Rochester Hills — A woman described as a “sharpshooter” was sentenced to 18 months of probation Wednesday for firing a gun at the getaway car as suspected shoplifters fled a Home Depot.

Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez, who was licensed to carry a concealed weapon, said she heard a scream and feared the incident was worse than a theft. She acknowledged the shooting in the parking lot was a mistake.

“I made a decision in a split second,” the 46-year-old Clarkston woman told a judge. “Maybe it was not the right one, but I was trying to help.”

Rochester Hills District Court Judge Julie Nicholson said: “I don’t believe any malice was involved in what you were doing, but I believe you have to think about what could have happened.”

Duva-Rodriguez was sentenced Wednesday after she pleaded no-contest to reckless discharge of a gun in October. Her permit to carry a concealed weapon is revoked until at least 2023.

“If guns are taken away from her and she learns her lesson, that’s fine,” Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper told The Detroit News Wednesday afternoon. “That’s the key. That she doesn’t have access to guns and she doesn’t have access to ammunition. Hopefully someone has sat down with her and talked with her about what responsible gun ownership is all about.”

Defense attorney Steven Lyle Schwartz called his client a “sharpshooter.”

“We need more people like Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez in our society,” he said.

Duva-Rodriguez fired her gun in the parking lot at the Joslyn Road store, flattening a tire on the thieves’ SUV in October. She saw a loss prevention officer chasing a man pushing a shopping cart from the store to an awaiting Kia driven by another man.

No one was injured in the incident and Duva-Rodriguez wasn’t being threatened by the shoplifters.

Cooper said gun owners should not be vigilantes.

“You can’t fire shots in a crowd,” Cooper said. “There are kids waking around. And adults. ... I can’t even envision all of the horrible things that could have happened. In her situation she was lucky.”

The suspected shoplifters were arrested a few days after the incident occurred at a Home Depot in Auburn Hills.

Prosecutor Jessica Cooper has called the shooting “disturbing.”

Detroit Staff Writer Candice Williams and The Associated Press contributed.