US woman shoots at shoplifter as he flees store

Customers shop at a Home Depot on August 18, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
Customers shop at a Home Depot on August 18, 2015 in Miami, Florida.AFP

CHICAGO (AFP) - A woman in suburban Detroit opened fire on a shoplifter after seeing a security guard chase him out of a Home Depot store, police said.

The shoplifter in Tuesday's Home Depot incident was not injured, the Detroit Free Press said.

It was not clear if the woman, who has a licence to carry a concealed weapon, would face any charges for taking the law into her own hands.

The woman, 48, was in the parking lot when she saw a security guard chase a black man in his 40s out of the store.

The man jumped into a waiting sports utility vehicle and the woman opened fire when it began to pull away.

Police believe she shot out one of the tyres.

A spokesman for the Auburn Hills police department did not immediately return a request for comment.

The department did, however, publish some details on Twitter.

It noted that "business was not disrupted" and asked for the public's help in locating the "getaway" car.

The incident comes just a few weeks after a bank customer in a neighbouring Detroit suburb shot a robber as he was fleeing the scene.

The local mayor said the 63-year-old man, who also had a licence to carry a weapon, acted within his rights because the robber threatened him on his way out the door.

The robber, 43, was treated in hospital after being shot once in each arm and once in a leg.

"I'm happy that no one was seriously injured," Jim Fouts, the mayor of Warren, Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press at the time.

"He apparently exercised some caution by not shooting the robber in a vital area."