California security guard charged with murder after killing homeless man at Walgreens
A Hollywood security guard was charged with murder Monday after he shot and killed a homeless man inside a Walgreens earlier in the month.
Donald Vincent Ciota II faces one count of murder for using a firearm as a deadly and dangerous weapon stemming from the Dec. 2 shooting, the Los Angeles District Attorney said Monday.
Ciota allegedly shot 21-year-old Jonathan Hart in the back as he ran out of the drugstore after the security guard accused him of shoplifting.
Video from inside the store shows bottles of broken red wine on the floor and the guard making a phone call while standing over Hart’s body.
Hart was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Hart’s family has filed a $525 million wrongful death lawsuit against Walgreens.
"I gave this family a pledge that Jonathan Hart will not have died in vain," attorney Carl Douglas told ABC 7. "Walgreens, the blood of Jonathan Hart is on your hands."
Douglas also said Hart was not shoplifting when Ciota confronted him.
"Jonathan Hart was profiled because he was homeless. He was harassed because he was gay, and he was shot because he was black," Douglas told ABC 7.
Ciota was fired after the incident, Walgreens said in a statement.
"We have extended our deepest and most sincere condolences to Mr. Hart's family,” the company said.
Ciota is being held on $3 million bail and could serve up to life in prison if convicted.