We don’t know if Michael John Hough and Shaashana Marie Hough, husband and wife, ever saw “Les Miserables,” but they’re telling a similar story to explain why they stole a power screwdriver from a Phoenix-area Sears and then pulled a gun when confronted by a loss prevention officer.
The problem is, when they pulled their stunt last Friday, a former Marine was nearby witnessing the whole thing as his wife exited the mall where the Sears was located. And he wasn’t going to stand by. He pulled a gun of his own and fired multiple shots, sending the couple scrambling on a motorcycle.
So what was the couple’s excuse when police caught up with them days later? It was a Jean Valjean-like excuse that they just needed money for food. And the gun? It was a toy painted to look real that Shaashana said she keeps for protection on the streets.
“I was hungry, I took something. I was unaware that she had pulled anything. I jumped on the bike and took off,” Michael Hough told authorities, according to court documents obtained by KSAZ-TV.
Shaashana, who pulled the gun, added it’s all just been “blown up.”
“This was not at all like what he’s stating and I don’t know it got blown up into something completely different,” she said according to the documents. “I’m asking the court.. it’s been a long time since I’ve been in trouble.”
While initially police hadn’t announced if charges would be filed against the 61-year old Marine veteran, none have transpired.
“Fearing for the safety of his wife and the loss prevention officer, the male fired his handgun an unknown number of times toward the armed suspect,” Glendale, Az., Police Sgt. Jay O’Neill told KSAZ. “There are witnesses who indicate that either one or more of the shoplifting suspects may have been hit by the gunfire. Both of the shoplifting suspects then got onto a black motorcycle and fled the area.”
O’Neill’s comments that the Houghs may have been hit by the gunfire appears not to have been the case when reviewing follow-up reports.
The Houghs are facing charges of armed robbery, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault. Their bonds were set at $50,000.