Suspected Shoplifter Attacks Security Guards, Killing One

( – A shoplifter stabbed a security guard to death and injured another at a department store in Philadelphia when he returned after the guards caught him trying to steal hats. The attack happened at the Macy’s outlet in the city on December 4 when guards seized stolen merchandise from the thief, who returned 15 minutes later and attacked them with a knife. The suspect stabbed one guard in the neck and another in the face and arm; one died later in hospital.

Police said the suspect fled the store and threw the knife onto a platform at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority train station, before being captured later at another station.

Tyrone Tunnell, 30, was charged with murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, retail theft, and weapons offenses and is being held without bail. The two guards are 27-year-old Eric Harrison and 23-year-old Christian Mitchell. Mr. Harrison was pronounced dead hours after the attack, and Mr. Mitchell underwent surgery and is reportedly in a stable condition.

A representative from Macy’s said, “We are heartbroken about the incident. Ensuring the safety and well-being of our customers and colleagues is always our top priority.” The store was closed on December 5 but reopened the following day.

The most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics – in 2017 – revealed that fatal attacks on retail security staff were skyrocketing. Statistics showed that, for six years running, more retail staff were killed at work than police officers and firefighters. Retail fatalities reached an all-time high in 2020, with 256 customers, 128 suspects, 123 employees, and 16 security officers dying in stores.

High-profile cases of security guard murders from last year include that of William Tate from Maryland, who was shot and killed by a shoplifter.

Maxx Walker and Frank Adkins, both from Chicago, were charged with murder in a separate 2022 case that left security guard Norman Thomas dead from multiple gunshot wounds.

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