Shoplifting incident at North Knoxville liquor store results in shots fired

Veronica Upton (left) and Nathan Kelso (Phot: KPD)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The owner of a North Knoxville liquor store took matters into his own hands when shoplifters attempted to rob him.

Knoxville Police Department said they responded to a report of shots fired at Somi Liquor Store on North Central Street at 8:40 p.m. Tuesday. Police reports said the owner of the store Modupe Osaro, 56, confronted Veronica Upton, 46, and Nathan Kelso, 39, at gunpoint and demanded they return the stolen liquor.

After reviewing evidence and conducting multiple interviews, investigators with the Knoxville Police Department said it is believed that Kelso entered the store, armed with a gun and intentions to rob the business. The store owner and witness said Kelso kept one hand hidden and appeared to have a weapon at the time of the robbery.

Upton and Keso ran out of the store, after the merchandise according to officers. Witnesses said they fled through toward Central Street as the Osaro chased them and fired at least one shot using a Hi Point .380 handgun into the air.

Police say Kelso fled down Central Street and Upton was later confronted by Osaro at a parked vehicle. The original police report said Osaro confronted Upton and drug her out of the car at gunpoint. Officers said after conducting interviews it was determined he did not drag the female shoplifter out of the vehicle.

Kelso returned to the business after officers arrived on the scene. Upton was charged with theft; possession of drug paraphernalia; and criminal impersonation. She also has several outstanding warrants including willful neglect and exploitation of a vulnerable adult; forgery; violation of probation on failure of appear/shoplifting; and unlawful use of credit card. Kelso was charged with theft of property; possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication.

Osara had a permit to carry a weapon for at least 20 years according to Knoxville Police Department. Based on the District ATtorneys General’s Office, he will not be charged. Investigators reviewed with Osara the current rules and regulatiosn required under the carry permit law and his weapon was returned to him.

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