The 25-year-old employee who shot and killed an armed shoplifter at the College Station Walmart last month says he had no choice if he wanted to live.
Dustin Batson is a freshman at Texas A&M and worked at the College Station Walmart for the past two years. He couldn't tell us details about what happened that night because of the ongoing investigation, but he talked with us this afternoon and says he's sorry with the way things all turned out.
"I did 6 years in the Marines. I was in the infantry. I went to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once. I was in Fallujah in 2005,” said Batson.
He says his life was always in danger overseas, but the College Station Walmart became his battleground on one of his shifts working as a loss prevention officer.
"At that point it was fight or die,” Batson said.
On the evening of April 20th, investigators say 47-year-old Michael Bradshaw tried leaving Walmart with a shopping cart of stolen merchandise. After a struggle Bradshaw fired a shot and then pulled out a knife. Batson was able to take control of Bradshaw's gun.
"Honestly it was just me and him. That's all I saw with the whole thing. I just know he had a gun, and I wasn't going to get shot,” Batson said.
Batson says he fired a single bullet.
"I felt like I didn't have a choice at that point"
Investigators say it hit Bradshaw in the midsection, a shot that would later kill him.
Days after the incident, Batson resigned, but he says Walmart officials gave him no choice.
"They were really careful about how they worded things, but they basically told me if I didn't resign, I was going to get fired,” Batson said.
Jobless now, he has that one night shift stuck in his mind.
"I just replay it every now and then, but I try not to think about it,” said Batson. "It is a tragic situation for everyone involved. I just want this to go behind me."
He realizes at 25 he has a lot more to see.
"I'm young enough and I can just get another job, but that guy can't get another life.”
Batson says Walmart officials told him the way he handled the situation on April 20th violated company policy.
We spoke with a Walmart spokeperson who says he was not forced to resign.