COVINA — A man died Friday after being detained by store security on suspicion of shoplifting at a Walmart, officials said.
The man’s name was not available Sunday pending positive identification and notification his his family, Lt. Joe Bale of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner said.
The incident began when loss prevention officers at Walmart, 1275 N. Azusa Avenue, detained a man on suspicion of shoplifting shortly before 1 p.m., officials said.
“While being detained in the parking lot, the suspect began fighting with the loss prevention personnel,” Deputy Peter Gomez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau said in a written statement.
“When the (police) officers arrived, the suspect was being restrained by loss prevention officers,” Gomez said. “The Covina police officers saw the suspect appeared to be in medical distress and called for paramedics to respond.”
The police officers were not involved in an altercation with the man, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said.
The man was taken to Citrus Valley Medical Center — Inter-Community Campus in Covina where he was pronounced dead a short time later, according to Covina police and coroner’s officials.
It was not clear if the death was a result of the struggle, or due to some kind of pre-existing medical condition.
Coroner’s investigators will perform an autopsy to determine the man’s cause of death.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are handling the investigation.