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Alleged Walmart shoplifter dies after struggle with store employees

A suspected shoplifter died early Sunday after a confrontation with Walmart employees and a security guard in the store parking lot in Lithonia, Ga., WSBTV reported.

According to the DeKalb County, Ga., police report, officers arrived around 1:30 a.m. to find the employees on top of the middle-aged man, who reportedly was caught shoplifting two DVD players. When an officer placed the man in handcuffs, he noticed the man didn’t resist him. That’s when he realized the man was unconscious and bleeding from the nose and mouth, according to WSBTV.

Paramedics transported the man to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  

Further investigation revealed that a “physical altercation” had taken place in the parking lot, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. One of the employees had reportedly placed the man in a choke hold. The cause of death, however, has not been determined.

Dianna Gee, a Walmart spokeswoman, released a statement Sunday saying that both employees had been placed on paid leave. She said the security guard would no longer provide services for the store.

“No amount of merchandise is worth someone’s life,” Gee said in the statement, according to the Journal-Constitution. “Associates are trained to disengage from situations that would put themselves or others at risk.”

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