An alleged shoplifter is dead after being confronted by a 7-Eleven worker on Long Island early Thursday.
Police say the clerk chased the suspect out of the store on Broadhollow Road in Melville around 12:45 a.m., and a physical altercation ensued that led to the man’s death.
Suffolk County police Detective Lieutenant Kevin Beyer said the clerk was working alone when the man entered and stole a few food and drink items from an aisle and cooler.
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He fled the store, and the clerk followed and caught up with him.
The clerk and alleged shoplifter got into a fight, at which point the clerk stabbed the man in the torso with a box cutter.
“The clerk and the subject got into an altercation which turned violent,” Breyer said. “The subject was stabbed with a box cutter, which the clerk had in his possession which he was using at the store.”
He then returned to the 7-Eleven and called 911.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.
Beyer said police are reviewing video and working to notify the family of the deceased.
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They are trying to determine if the clerk was threatened or if the shoplifter was armed.
The employee is said to be cooperating, but it is unclear if charges will be filed.
“Right now, we are in the process of reviewing and trying to obtain video and trying to determine what the most appropriate charges, if any, are for the clerk,” Beyer said.
Police advise workers not to chase shoplifters or others who may be committing a crime.
The only other incident reported at this 7-Eleven in the past year happened August 1, when Suffolk County police arrested a man for stealing a vehicle outside of the location. The keys were inside the vehicle, and a Wyandanch man was arrested on August 2 and charged with third-degree grand larceny.
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