A 25-year-old A&M student says 'it was fight or die" when he allegedly shot and killed an armed shoplifter at the College Station Walmart back in April.
While his charges were acquitted, he says replay of the tragedy doesn't go away.
The story was chosen by News Three viewers as the number 6 local story of 2012.
Dustin Batson has seen quite a bit on the battlefield.
"I did 6 years in the Marines. I was in the infantry,” said Batson. “I went to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once. I was in Fallujah in 2005.”
He says his life was always in danger overseas.
"I've had guns and knives and everything else pulled on me before,” said Batson.
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,” said Batson.
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,” said Batson.
Batson says he fired a single bullet.
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,” said Batson.
He's has since found another job near the Texas A&M campus.
"I'm young enough and I can just get another job, but that guy can't get another life,” said Batson.
Walmart did not have any comment.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.