Shelly Frey, Tisa Andrews and Yolanda Craig entered a Houston, Texas Walmart with the sole purpose of stealing. After they were caught on camera, concealing items into their purse – they were confronted in the parking lot by off duty police officer Louis Campbell.
The trio went to their car and attempted to drive off, but Campbell opened the door and demanded that they stop. The driver of the vehicle accelerated, which Campbell claimed he feared for his life at that point – and discharged his weapon, hitting Frey in the neck. It is unknown if Frey was the driver of the vehicle, or the passenger, which is still under investigation.
Instead of preserving precious minutes, and wait at the scene for the ambulance to arrive – they drove to the apartment complex instead.
“I was right there by my stairway when I heard all the screaming,” witness Angel Gaines recalled.
Gaines didn’t expect such commotion outside her apartment so late Thursday night, but she soon discovered one of her neighbor’s relatives, bleeding to death, in a parked car.
“She said some security officer shot her at Walmart on West Road,” Gaines said. “She needed help or something. She was trying to find somebody to help her.”
Here is a statement from Walmart:
We hire off duty officers to provide security to some of our stores. While we have policies in place for our associates to disengage from situations that might put them or others in harm’s way, off-duty officers working at a WM store are authorized to act in accordance with their department’s code of conduct.”
At one point in my life, I had a career in Loss Prevention, and the entire scenario by the security guard, should not have taken place. I’m not going to get into the fact that the three women should not have been shoplifting in the first place. The fact that this off-duty cop felt the need to chase these women outside and have his gun out is poor tactics – he was too busy in police mode. Campbell was not a cop on duty; he was a paid “security guard” for Walmart. What Campbell should have done was not chased these women outside. Once a shoplifter passes the last register, one is suppose to stop them at the door. Furthermore, even if Campbell goes outside, he was better off remembering their license plate and contacting the police.
Campbell went above and beyond his duty as a “security guard”, by using deadly force. He would not have feared for his life if he did not go outside in the first place. Now he has a bigger problems on his hands. He will soon find out, Walmart will not back him and that he has a lot of explaining to do in civil suits, criminal investigations, and his own job as a police officer will be place under scrutiny. I hope all that was worth it, for going the extra mile to protect merchandise that Walmart has insurance for.
Frey leaves behind 2 kids, who will eventually find out that she died while shoplifting. Frey may have also died, because she wasted valuable time in going back to the apartment complex, instead of staying at the Walmart parking lot, where her so called friends should have called an ambulance. This is a cautionary tale that even though shoplifting is not the same as committing an armed robbery; the results can end up just the same – in death.
Just blogging for the masses, ya dig?