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Family Dollar employee shoots alleged 'serial shoplifter' who punched him when confronted. He's been charged with attempted murder.

Photo by Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Family Dollar employee was charged with attempted murder after he shot a man he believed to be a "serial shoplifter" who punched him during the confrontation.

The incident unfolded at a Phoenix, Arizona, area Family Dollar store on Wednesday at about 7:50 p.m.

24-year-old Kevin Ignacio Salas Madrid reportedly accosted the man and told him to leave. The accused shoplifter punched Madrid in the face with his left hand, causing his eyeglasses to fly off, according to witnesses. That's when the employee pulled out a gun.

Witnesses said Madrid shot the man at least 10 times, and court documents claimed that he continued to shoot even after the man fell to the ground. A separate witness said he shot 15 times.

When police arrived, they found the accused shoplifter shot several times and Madrid with the gun unloaded. He identified himself to police as the shooter. The victim was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

The police report included a comment allegedly made by Madrid to the police.

"Kevin stated he had made the worst decision of his life," police said in the probable cause statement. "Kevin explained he was struck and decided to shoot but looking back, he realized it was egregious."

Madrid was charged with attempted second-degree murder, among other charges.

Earlier in the month, a separate shooting at a different Family Dollar store in Phoenix ended with a fatality. Police found 43-year-old Chris Gonzales shot in the head, and he died at the scene from his injuries. Police later arrested a 35-year-old suspect using surveillance video of the incident.

Police say the crime rate is increasing in Phoenix.

Here's more about crime in Phoenix:

Phoenix Police see violent past 6 weeks with homicide rates upwww.youtube.com

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