Autopsy Expected Soon in Lithonia Walmart Death

2:10 PM, Nov 26, 2012   |    comments
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Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY

A preliminary autopsy report could be released as early as Monday by a Georgia medical examiner's office in the death of an alleged shoplifter who was wrestled to the ground by three store workers outside of an Atlanta-area Walmart early Sunday.

Two employees of the Walmart store in Lithonia, Ga., have been suspended with pay during the investigation, but a security contractor is no longer with the company, WXIA-TV reported.

A Walmart spokesman said the company was cooperating with police.

"Our associates are trained that the safety of our customers and our associates is our first priority," Kayla Whaling, with Walmart corporate communications, said in a statement. "No amount of merchandise is worth someone's life. Associates are trained to disengage from situations that would put themselves or others at risk."

The middle-aged man left the Walmart store around 1:30 a.m. Sunday and was followed by the three store workers.

DeKalb County police said the man was suspected of taking two DVD players from the store, the Associated Press reports.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that when police arrived, they found the three workers on top of the man. A police report said a "physical altercation" had taken place in the parking lot.

Police found the man unresponsive, WXIA reported. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

According to a police report, an officer who handcuffed the suspected shoplifter detected no resistance from him and ordered the employees off, the AP reported. Police found him to be bleeding from his nose and mouth.

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