Calvin Munerlyn, 43, was shot in the head after he allegedly refused to let Sharmel Teague and her daughter into a dollar store without a mask

By Ashley Boucher
May 04, 2020 10:06 PM
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Calvin Munerlyn
| Credit: gofundme

Upholding an executive order meant to keep people safe during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic allegedly cost a man his life last week.

Calvin Munerlyn, 43, was shot on May 1 in an altercation that allegedly took place after a dispute about wearing face masks in public, according to the Genesee County Prosecutor's office.

Sharmel Lashe Teague, 45, her son Ramonyea Travon Bishop, 23, and her husband Larry Edward Teague, 44, were charged Monday related to the shooting. All three are charged with first-degree premeditated murder and felony firearm, while Larry and Bishop received additional charges related to the shooting.

It was not immediately clear if Sharmel, Larry and Bishop have legal representation.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's executive order requires all employees and customers in stores to wear a face-covering because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sharmel and her daughter arrived at a Family Dollar store in northern Flint around 1:40 p.m. on May 1, while Sharmel was wearing a mask, her daughter did not have anything to cover her face, according to a press release from Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.

Munerlyn did not let the mother-daughter pair enter the store because they would have been in violation of Whitmer's order, Leyton said. Sharmel allegedly began yelling and spitting at the security guard before driving off.

Munerlyn told Sharmel to leave the store, and told the cashier not to serve her, the release said.

A short while after Sharmel left the store, two men police say were her husband and son, Larry and Bishop, arrived to confront Munerlyn. Bishop allegedly then shot Munerlyn in the back of the head.

Police were then called to the scene to find Munerlyn "laying on the floor unconscious and bleeding from his head." He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Leyton said in a statement Monday that all indications show that Munerlyn was simply doing his job, calling the security guard's death "senseless and tragic."

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"It is important that the Governor's order be respected and adhered to and for someone to lose their life over it is beyond comprehension," Leyton said.

Munerlyn's family held a vigil Sunday night and a memorial outside the store where he was shot, the Associated Press reported Monday.

His mother, Bernadette, pleaded for fellow Michiganders to follow Whitmer's COVID-19 orders.

"They didn’t have to take my baby and it wasn’t that serious," she told the AP.

Sharmel Teague

"All you people just have to do is listen to the law, listen to the governor. Just stay home," Bernadette continued. "If you don’t have to come out, then you wouldn’t need a mask unless you’re out getting groceries or necessities."

"All my baby was doing was his job working and doing his job," she added.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the family of Munerlyn.

"Duper was a hard-working, father and husband who lost his life while doing his job securing the place of business and asking all customers to wear a mask for our own safety as well as others," the campaign's organizer wrote on May 2. "He leaves behind 8 amazing kids, a super loving wife, & his wonderful mother."

As of Monday, $86,682 had been raised after an initial goal of $10,000. 

Michigan is one of the hardest-hit states by COVID-19, and Whitmer has also received intense backlash over her executive orders in response to the contagious respiratory virus. As of Monday, there have been 43,950 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 4,135 deaths related to the virus in the state.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.