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Alleged robber killed by man waiting in line for LeBron James' new shoes

Published: Monday, June 24 2013 11:10 a.m. MDT

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) during the second half of Game 6 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Tuesday, June 18, 2013 in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Lynne Sladky, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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ATLANTA — A man waiting in line to buy new LeBron James sneakers shot and killed an alleged robber who was reportedly attempting to steal from a group of customers Saturday morning in Atlanta, according to Yahoo! Sports' Ball Don't Lie blog.

Wayne Washington of the Atlanta Journal-Consititution, who broke the story, reports that police responded to the scene at 5:30 a.m., six and a half hours before the shoe and clothing store Wish was scheduled to open its doors.

According to police, a customer in line shot the would-be thief and then got back in line to purchase the new Nike LeBron X EXT shoes.

The names of the shooter and alleged thief have not been released by authorities.

Police have not charged anyone and consider the shooting to be self-defense.

On Sunday, officer John Chafee, an Atlanta Police Department spokesman, said no other information was being released at the time.

“He [the shooter] really stood up for all of us,” said Taylor White, who told Channel 2 Action News that he was in line when the shooting happened. “I salute the homie that did that."

Action News reported that a parking lot attendant had warned shoppers that a man had been targeting customers in the same area the past week. But that didn't stop nearly 50 customers from lining up to buy the shoes, even though there was an unconfirmed report that only 22 pairs of the new LeBron sneakers were available.

Hours after the shooting, many people were aware of the shooting that took place, but weren't fazed by it.

“Sounds like he brought it on himself,” a man who would not give his name said of the shooting victim, according to the Journal-Constitution.

He seemed to be more concerned about the shoes than the events that took place earlier in the day.

“It’s the leather and the denim,” the man said of the sneakers named after the now two-time champ. “It’s basically a pair of pants on your foot.”

Leslie Garcia, a Heat fan who was waiting in line, said, "He [the alleged thief] was probably after that shoe money."

Wish sold out of the Nike LeBron X EXT shoes in less than two hours.

Meanwhile, police said they were continuing their investigation of the shooting.

Michael Smith (@smithmichael8) is an intern in the news section of DeseretNews.com. A 2013 graduate of the University of Utah, he will be attending Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism in the fall.

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