(CBS/AP) LITHONIA, Ga. - Authorities say a man suspected of shoplifting DVD players at an Atlanta-area Walmart died Sunday after a physical confrontation with store workers.
According to WSB-TV, a police report says a middle-aged man was caught shoplifting two DVD players from the store in Lithonia about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. He left the building, but three employees caught up to him and there was an altercation in the parking lot.
Police say at one point a worker had the alleged thief in a choke hold, WSB-TV reports.
When police arrived they found the store workers on top of the man, who was unresponsive and bleeding from the nose and mouth. He was later pronounced dead at DeKalb Medical-Hillandale hospital. The official cause of death has not yet been determined.
Walmart spokeswoman, Dianna Gee said, "This is truly a sad situation. We're in the process of working with law enforcement to determine all of the facts and cooperating and providing any information we have to assist in the investigation. 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."
An official says the employees who were involved have been suspended with pay during the investigation.