HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — The security guard who police say killed a suspected shoplifter at a Hollywood pharmacy has been charged with murder, prosecutors announced Monday.
28-year-old Donald Vincent Ciota II, of Covina, was scheduled to be arraigned later Monday on one count of murder. The charge includes an allegation that he used a firearm “as a deadly and dangerous weapon.”
Police say Ciota opened fire inside the Walgreens at Sunset & Vine back on December 2nd after getting into a fight with the man he suspected of shoplifting. Prosecutors say he shot 21-year-old Jonathan Hart in the back as he ran away.
Hart, whose friends called him Sky, was homeless. Those friends told CBS2 that Hart was not shoplifting prior to the altercation. Hart’s family has filed a $525 million lawsuit against Walgreens, saying Hart was targeted and that the pharmacy chain’s security policies contributed to his death.
Ciota’s bail is expected to be set at $3 million. He faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in prison if convicted.