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Suspected Shoplifter Dies After Confrontation with Walmart Employees

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(LITHONIA, Ga.) -- A man suspected of shoplifting two DVD players from a Lithonia, Ga., Walmart on Sunday died after an altercation with two store employees and a contract security guard, prompting a police investigation.

The man, whose identity has not been released, exited through the front door of the store at 1:30 a.m. Sunday and was confronted in the parking lot, according to DeKalb County police.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the employees on top of the middle-aged man, according to a police report obtained by ABC News affiliate WSB-TV.  When an officer bent down to handcuff the suspect, he noticed there was no resistance.

At that point, the officer noticed the suspect was bleeding from the nose and mouth, according to the report.  He was transported to DeKalb Medical-Hillandale Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“This is truly a sad situation.  We don’t know all of the facts right now.  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,” Walmart spokesperson Dianna Gee said in a statement issued to ABC News.

Gee said the contract security guard will no longer be providing services to the retailer.  The two store employees have been suspended with pay while Walmart assists police in the investigation.

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

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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