Teen Shoplifter Gets 5 Years In Juvenile Facility For Role In Stabbing Death Of L.A. Shop Owner
Shoplifters will be prosecuted sign - stock photo
Wirestock/Getty Images

A teenage shoplifter involved in the stabbing death of a Los Angeles shop owner was sentenced to five years in a secure juvenile facility last week after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

The shoplifter and another teen were initially charged with murder and second-degree robbery, Fox News reported, and it is unclear why the charges were reduced. California’s Proposition 21 states that minors accused of murder, certain sex crimes, and other violent crimes should be automatically tried as adults, yet these two teens weren’t.

And because they’re minors, their names aren’t being released.

On October 1, 2022, a boyfriend and girlfriend entered a wig shop in L.A.’s Fashion District and walked out with a wig. The store owner, Korean immigrant Du Young “Tommy” Lee, chased the teens as they left the store and confronted them. The store’s landlord told Fox 11 that Lee and the teens had an altercation, during which one of them pulled out a knife and stabbed the shop owner, who had been a fixture in L.A. for nearly 20 years.

“They were looking at a wig. And then all of a sudden they made a run for it. Tommy had a record of being tough and going after robbers,” the landlord said at the time of the incident after reviewing surveillance footage. “He started chasing them around shopping center and then the boy pulled out a knife and shanked him right in the heart.”

“I don’t think [Lee] ever imagined he would be murdered over a wig,” the landlord added.


When the teens were initially charged with murder, L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón condemned their actions.

“Mr. Lee was killed in the middle of the day on a busy street in downtown L.A. while simply trying to run his business,” Gascón said in a press release at the time. “His death is a tremendous loss for his friends, family and all who knew him. I want to make it clear that my office will work diligently to hold accountable individuals who engage in violent acts – even if they are minors.”

Yet one of the teens was allowed to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter as a juvenile, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in a secure youth treatment facility, ABC 7 reported. The teens were 17 at the time of the crime.

Some saw Lee as a hero for standing up to shoplifters over the years, often receiving injuries for his efforts but refusing to back down.

The second teen involved in the stabbing will appear in court within the next two weeks, ABC reported.

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Teen Shoplifter Gets 5 Years In Juvenile Facility For Role In Stabbing Death Of L.A. Shop Owner