A man in California died last Friday shortly after Walmart loss-prevention staff detained him on suspicion of shoplifting.
According to reports, store employees detained the man around 1 p.m. PT on Friday, believing he had stolen clothing and mouthwash.
“While being detained in the parking lot, the suspect began fighting with the loss prevention personnel,” a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy tells the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. “When the [police] officers arrived, the suspect was being restrained by loss prevention officers… police officers saw the suspect appeared to be in medical distress and called for paramedics to respond.”
Police took the man to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
As of yesterday, the cause of death — or whether the incident was in any way a factor — is still to be determine by an autopsy.
A Walmart rep gave the Tribune the following statement:
Any time there’s a loss of life, it’s a sad situation… We don’t know all of the facts right now, but we are cooperating with law enforcement and providing any information we have to assist in the investigation. The associates involved in the altercation are currently suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. We have crisis counselors available for associates who may be emotionally affected by this in any way.