A shoplifting suspect died Sunday morning after a struggle with Walmart staff and security in Lithonia, Ga., ABC News reports.
The man, whose name has not been released, was believed to have stolen two DVD players from a Walmart store there. Outside in the parking lot, he was confronted by two store employees and a security officer contracted by Walmart.
According to a police report, Dekalb County officers arrived to find the store employees on top of the middle-age suspect. When they attempted to cuff him, they found the suspect unresponsive with blood coming from his nose and mouth. He was taken to Dekalb Medical-Hillandale Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"This is truly a sad situation. We don't know all of the facts right now. We're in the process of working with law enforcement to determine all of the facts and cooperating and providing any information we have to assist in the investigation,” said Dianna Gee, a Walmart spokesperson.
Walmart is currently investigating the man's death. The contract security official has been released by Walmart, and the two store employees have been placed on paid leave.
"Our associates are trained that the safety of our customers and our associates is our first priority," Gee said. "No amount of merchandise is worth someone's life. Associates are trained to disengage from situations that would put themselves or others at risk.”