A Rite Aid employee was fatally shot Thursday while confronting two shoplifters in Los Angeles, according to police and the union that represents workers at the store.
Two men were trying to leave the drugstore in the Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles around 8:45 p.m. with unpaid merchandise when the victim tried to stop them, said Officer Mike Lopez, an LAPD spokesperson.
One of the men fired a gun at the victim, who has not been named publicly, striking him fatally, Lopez said. The men fled and remained at large on Friday night.
A man suspected of DUI was taken into custody in Long Beach after leading police on a pursuit that began near the city of Industry. NBC4 News reports at 11 p.m. on July 16, 2021.
Lopez said he did not have information about the man’s relationship to the store, but a statement from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 said he was an employee there.
The statement also criticized Rite Aid for failing to take action regarding previous safety concerns at the location, including death threats.
“We mourn his passing and keep his family and loved ones in our thoughts,” the statement said. “But his death should not have happened. For several months, 770 members have highlighted safety issues at this store.”
They were discovered during a search for a woman missing since December. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News on Friday, July 16, 2021.
In a statement early Saturday, Rite Aid said it was “shocked and saddened by the killing of a valued associate” and is cooperating with the police investigation.
“The prayers and thoughts of the entire Rite Aid team are with our associate’s family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time,” the statement said. “Rite Aid will offer support to the associate’s family through our associate relief fund and is offering other associates at that location support and counseling.”
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