LITHONIA, Ga. -- DeKalb County police are investigating the death of a suspected shoplifter who was wrestled to the ground by three employees outside a Lithonia Walmart.
It happened at around 1:30 a.m. Sunday at the Walmart on Fairington Road.
According to the police report, an employee asked to see the man's reciept for two LG Blu-ray DVD players, which he had put in his bag. The report said the man ran outside and the employee followed, grabbing the man by the hood of his sweatshirt. More employees joined in, pushing the man into a car and holding him by his back and feet, according to the report. One employee said he put the man in a choke hold and told him to tap when he couldn't breathe.
When DeKalb County Police officers arrived, they said the man was unresponsive, bleeding from his nose and mouth and barely had a pulse.
He was taken to DeKalb Medical Hillandale, where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy will determine how he died. Police will use the findings as well as surveillance video to determine whether to press charges.
A Walmart spokesman said they're fully cooperating with the police. In a statement, Kayla Whaling with Walmart corporate communications said, "Our associates are trained that the safety of our customers and our associates is our first priority. No amount of merchandise is worth someone's life. Associates are trained to disengage from situations that would put themselves or others at risk."
Two Walmart employees have been suspended with pay during the investigation. A third party security guard has been let go.