(AJC) — The Black Friday shopping weekend apparently took a tragic turn early Sunday morning when an alleged shoplifter died while being apprehended by employees and a contract security officer outside a Lithonia Walmart.

Two associates who helped catch and subdue the suspect before police arrived have been placed on leave; the security officer who police say may have placed the suspected thief in a choke hold, is no longer working for Walmart.

“No amount of merchandise is worth someone’s life,” Walmart spokesperson Dianna Gee said Sunday in a statement that emphasized that it was early in the investigation into the incident and all the facts were not known yet. “Associates are trained to disengage from situations that would put themselves or others at risk.”

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