Suspected shoplifter detained at gunpoint by citizens in Eastern Washington

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Two people who pointed handguns at a suspected shoplifter in Washington state and threatened to shoot her have received some cautionary advice from police: Be reasonable.

A video posted on Facebook shows a woman being held at gunpoint in her car in Spokane by people who believed she stole from a store on Friday.

The Spokesman-Review reported that 36-year-old Annamarie L. Kirkpatrick was cited for shoplifting, a gross misdemeanor.

Video taken by bystanders shows a man and a woman drew their handguns and pointed them at the woman as she sat in her car.

Neither the man nor the woman with a gun have been charged with a crime, according to police.

Under Washington law, any person who aims a firearm at a person, whether loaded or not, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Police spokesman Terry Preuninger said citizens are accountable for the level of force they use.

When police officers use force, it is related to the severity of the incident, Preuninger said.

“We just want to remind people you’ve got to be reasonable and prudent,” Preuninger said. “You have to make sure that the use of force that you’re prepared to use is reasonable in the context of the situation you’re in.”