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A man who was suspected of stealing two DVD players from an Atlanta area Walmart died during a confrontation with the store’s employees early Monday.
ABC affiliate WSB-TV obtained a police report that states that the middle age man, whose identity has not been revealed, left with the products at 1:30am, walking right out the front door of the Lithonia, GA store. Two employees and a security guard caught him in the parking lot. Some kind of physical altercation took place while they detained him for police.
When police finally arrived, one of the employees was on top of the man. An officer put cuffs on the man, but noticed he was unresponsive and bleeding from the nose and mouth. The man was taken to DeKalb Medical-Hillandale Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The AP reports that the store has put the two employees on suspension with pay. The security contractor will no longer work for the store.
“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,” Walmart spokeswoman Dianna Gee told WSB. She later added, “Our associates are trained that the safety of our customers and our associates is our first priority. No amount of merchandise is worth someone’s life. Associates are trained to disengage from situations that would put themselves or others at risk.”
Gee said that the company will cooperate with police in the investigation and that if the company’s policy was not followed, there will be “appropriate action at the appropriate time.”