A Walmart shoplifter identified only as John Doe is dead after security personnel and store employees tackled him and put him in a “chokehold.”
The unidentified middle-aged man was suspected of taking two DVD players from a Walmart store in Lithonia, Georgia.
According to the Examiner, the altercation went down in the store’s parking lot:
The man … left through the front door of the store at 1:30 a.m. Sunday and was confronted in the parking lot, according to DeKalb County police.
When officers arrived at the scene on Fairington Road, they found Walmart employees on top of the man, holding him in a chokehold along with security. While handcuffing the suspect, officers noticed he was unresponsive and bleeding from his nose and mouth. Paramedics came and transported the man to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, reports WSBTV.
In a statement issued to ABC News, Walmart Spokesperson Dianna Gee said “this is a truly 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.”
The police report said one of the Walmart employees placed the man in a chokehold. But the cause of the death will be determined by the medical examiner.
The Walmart employees involved in the case are Michael Burton, Phille Roberts and Jaiviere Pruitt. According to USA Today, “the two Walmart workers are suspended during this investigation and the security guard is no longer employed after a suspected shoplifter died early Sunday. The company is also cooperating with the police.”
Police are also now trying to decide if the security guard involved should be faced with a manslaughter charge. The police are working to obtain the dead shoplifter’s identity, reports KCTV5.