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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Walmartology: Crime in Consumerland 3

     On November 15, a man in his twenties in Knoxville, Tennessee became the third Walmart shoplifter this year to be shot by the police. (See: "Shooting Shoplifters at Walmart," November 10, 2011) When the Knoxville officers arrived at the scene, they encountered two shoplifting suspects being interrogated in the loss prevention office by a store detective. One of the suspected retail thieves became violent, and in the struggle, produced an unspecified weapon that lead to his shooting and death. The store remained open. With Christmas on the horizon, why let a little gunplay interrupt the shopping? If I worked at Walmart I'd request that my "May I Help You" vest be bulletproof.


   The police identified the man shot in the Walmart security office as 21-year-old Zachary Blaine Russell. He was on probation following several theft convictions. Store personnel had detained Russell for concealing small appliance light bulbs in his clothing. In the loss prevention office, Russell had pulled a small caliber handgun. Russell's death marks the fourth police involved shooting this year in Knoxville.

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