A suspected shoplifter has died while being detained by security officers at a southern California Walmart store.
A man identified only as a Hispanic male died after a struggle with loss prevention personnel in the parking lot of a Walmart store at 1275 N. Azusa Ave. in Covina, CA on Friday afternoon.
According to The Sacramento Bee, the man attempted to steal clothes and body wash.
“While being detained in the parking lot, the suspect began fighting the loss prevention personnel,” said Deputy Peter Gomez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, whose Homicide Bureau detectives were called to investigate the death. “Covina Police Department personnel were called and responded. When the officers arrived, the suspect was being restrained by loss prevention officers. The Covina police officers saw the suspect appeared to be in medical distress and called for paramedics to respond. He was then transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.”
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office will perform an autopsy to determine the man’s cause of death.
“Any time there’s a loss of life, it’s a sad situation," said spokeswoman Dianna Gee in a statement. "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.”