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Suspected shoplifter dies after impaling himself with stolen knife, police say

Published: Monday, May 08, 2017 @ 9:31 AM
By: Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

A suspected shoplifter died Friday night after he suffered a self-inflicted stab wound while fleeing from authorities in Florida, according to multiple reports.

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Jerry Ellis Word, 53, of Lakeland, died while running from the Lowe’s Home Improvement in Plant City, WTVT reported.

Officers were called around 6:40 p.m. Friday to a report of a shoplifting in progress, Plant City police told Lakeland Patch.

A man, identified as Word, walked into the Lowe’s on James L. Redman Parkway and took a knife out of its packaging. Police said Word concealed the knife and attempted to leave the store without paying.

Police told the Plant City Observer that Word brandished the knife at Lowe’s loss prevention employees who attempted to stop him. He ran from the store, toward a nearby apartment complex.

Officers found him collapsed behind a building a short time later, Lakeland Patch reported.

“While fleeing with the knife, it is believed the suspect impaled himself in an unknown matter,” police said in an email to the news site. Authorities did not immediately know whether the self-inflicted wound was intentional.

Word was taken to South Florida Baptist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the Plant City Observer reported.

Authorities continue to investigate.