Lakeland police have arrested and charged three Walmart employees with manslaughter in the February death of a shoplifter.
Police said just after 3 a.m. Feb. 7, the suspect, Kenneth Wisham, 64, stole nearly $400 worth of DVDs and ran when he was confronted by employees.
The employees chased him down and at some point, Wisham fell to the ground and was held there by the employees.
Wisham stopped breathing and the employees called 911. Wisham was transported to the hospital in critical condition, but later died.
During an investigation, the Medical Examiner determined Wisham died of mechanical asphyxia due to restraint and that Wisham had 15 broken ribs.
The three Walmart employees charged were Nathan Allen Higgins, 35, who was a support manager; Crucelis Nunez, 23, who was a customer service manager, and Randall Eugene Toko, 58, who was in loss prevention.
Walmart issued a statement Friday afternoon:
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by these events. The status of the associates involved continues to be reviewed. We'll continue working with law enforcement officials, as we have from the beginning, while conducting our own review.