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Walgreens employee claims self-defense in shooting of pregnant woman workers say was caught shoplifting

A woman who was seven months pregnant was shot by a Walgreens employee in Nashville, Tennessee, this week after he suspected she had stolen cosmetics from the store's pharmacy, police said. Now, she and her newborn baby remain hospitalized after undergoing an emergency C-section. 

A Walgreens team leader shot 24-year-old Travonsha Ferguson in the store's parking lot on Wednesday evening after he followed her out of the store when he was tipped off to the alleged shoplifting, Nashville police said in a news statement. 

Mitarius Boyd, 21, claims he fired his semi-automatic in self-defense because he said "he was in fear" and didn't know if Ferguson and another woman she was with were armed, police said. 

Another employee told Boyd two women were allegedly shoplifting cosmetics from the store, police said. He began recording the women on his cell phone as they placed items in a shopping cart and a large shoulder bag, police said, and he later followed the women to the car in the parking lot as they began to place items into the car's trunk. 

As he approached the rear of the car, one of the women pulled out a can of mace and sprayed as Boyd started shooting, according to police.

The other woman took Ferguson, who had multiple gunshot wounds, to the hospital, and then disappeared, police said. 

An emergency C-section was performed on the victim, police said, and her baby was not injured by the gunfire. At last report Thursday, both Ferguson and the baby were hospitalized in critical condition, police said.  

The Nashville District Attorney will determine whether Boyd will face charges.

Boyd is "no longer employed at Walgreens," the company said in a statement Sunday.

"The safety of our patients, customers and team members is our top priority, and violence of any kind will not be tolerated at our stores," Walgreens said. "We take this matter seriously and are cooperating with local authorities."

In October 2022, Boyd was charged with disorderly conduct for refusing to leave a Best Buy store after a dispute over a Play Station 5, according to court records. Employees told Boyd the Play Station 5 wasn't in stock, but he refused to leave, court records said. The charge was later dismissed, according to records.

Ferguson has faced past assault, vandalism and trespassing charges, per court records.

Nashville police said Boyd was cooperating with the investigation.

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