Suspected Lakeland Walmart shoplifter dies after being detained

This news article was posted on a Facebook page for Walmart employees and the responses were all over the board.  Of course everyone was sad about a person dying, but there were varying opinions about the whole thing.  Some felt the employees shouldn’t have confronted him and thus contributed to his death, although it’s unknown if “employees” meant Loss Prevention employees or not, since Walmart has the same policy as most that employees are not allowed to go out after shoplifters.  Others said he shouldn’t have been stealing and that makes it his own fault that he died.  Others apparently felt that perhaps he was stealing for his family, to buy heart medicine, etc. so we should feel sorry for him.  (Hmmm why would he steal DVD’s then?)

So what do you think?  What’s your opinion? Please leave a comment.

  1.  The employees contributed to his death
  2.  No one should die because they were committing a minor crime.
  3.  He got what he deserved.


A man suspected of shoplifting at a Lakeland Walmart on Sunday died after being detained by employees.

According to Lakeland Police officials, Kenneth E. Wisham, 64, attempted to leave the Walmart at 5800 U.S. Highway 98 North with a number of DVDs totaling about $380 in a shopping cart.

When confronted by employees, Wisham ran. Employees caught up to Wisham and detained him after he fell while running.

While awaiting the arrival of Lakeland Police to take Wisham into custody, the employees realized that Wisham was not breathing. They began CPR and called paramedics.

First responders took over performing CPR and other life-saving measures until paramedics arrived. Wisham was taken to Lakeland Regional Health in critical condition, where he was pronounced dead at 3:40 p.m.

Because the incident involved a death, detectives from the Lakeland Police Violent Crimes Unit took sworn statements from witnesses at the scene.

At this time, no cause of death has been determined. The investigation is ongoing.