Alleged shoplifter dies after struggle in Walmart parking lot

A man suspected of shoplifting DVD players from a Georgia Walmart has died after being subdued by two store employees and a security guard.

WSBTV Channel 2 reports that a middle aged man exited the front door of the Lithonia, Ga Walmart with two DVD players where the three employees caught him in the parking lot. A physical altercation took place and the employees detained the man.

DeKalb County police said that officers arrived at the Walmart around 1:30am to find two of the employees on top of the man, reports NBC News.

An officer noticed the man wasn't resisting when he placed him in handcuffs and realized he was unconscious and bleeding from the nose and mouth. The police report said one of those Walmart employees held the man in a choke hold but the cause of death was not determined.

Paramedics took him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Walmart spokeswoman Dianna Gee told Channel 2 that the two store employees were suspended with pay and that the security guard was no longer working with the store.

“Our associates are trained that the safety of our customers and our associates is our first priority," said Gee. "No amount of merchandise is worth someone’s life. Associates are trained to disengage from situations that would put themselves or others at risk," added Gee. "That being said, this is still an active investigation and we’re working with police to provide any assistance."

A spokesman for the DeKalb Medical Examiner's office told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that no information on the victim would be released until Monday.