MELVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police on Long Island say a convenience store clerk has been charged with manslaughter following a deadly altercation with a shoplifter early Thursday morning.

The Suffolk County Police Department said Raquan Jackson, 31, entered the 7-Eleven on Broadhollow Road in Melville at around 12:30 a.m., took drinks and food, and left without paying.

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The clerk, identified as Conroy Jarman, who was alone at the time, chased Jackson out of the store and into a nearby parking lot carrying one of the store’s box cutters, police said.

“The clerk and subject got into an altercation, which turned violent. The subject was stabbed with a box cutter,” Lt. Kevin Beyrer told reporters, including CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

One stab wound to Jackson’s torso proved fatal. Police said Jarman returned to the store and called 911. After being questioned by investigators, the 29-year-old from Hempstead was charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Police are investigating if the thief was armed and if the clerk was threatened. They are advising against taking the law into your own hands.

“If someone does steal an item from a store, we do not recommend and we strongly suggest against, and advise against, chasing the person,” Beyrer said.

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Nearby merchants wondered if the incident was a case of self defense or a fatal overreaction.

“Maybe he didn’t have a job, like what’s going on out here? It’s sad,” one person said. “It shouldn’t have cost him his life.

“I wouldn’t chase him out of the store, but if something happens inside and you start tussling with somebody you should be able to protect yourself,” another said.

“Shouldn’t run after anybody. What are you going to do, lose your life?” another merchant said.

Police records show no recent history of shoplifting at the 7-Eleven. A car was stolen back in August and an arrest was made, Gusoff reported.

Police said Jackson and Jarman didn’t know one another. They also did not exchange any words inside the store.

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