Macy’s department store manager who fought off armed suspect to save customers fired for “violating company policy”

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GWINNETT COUNTY, GA – According to reports, the man who was stabbed during a robbery at the Macy’s at the Mall of Georgia in September says that he was fired for “violating company policy” by intervening in the crime.

David Walker, who was the manager of the jewelry department, said that he thought the man who was smashing jewelry cases also had a gun when he entered the store on September 2nd.

He said that he hid at the first signs of a robbery and theft in the jewelry department, but then he confronted the suspect when he feared that there were customers and staff close enough to him if he had a gun.

Gwinnett County police said that the suspect was carrying a crowbar and a knife at the time of the robbery. The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Jose Reyes Serrato allegedly stabbed Walker five times after Walker said he hit him, trying to disarm him.

Two months later, on Tuesday, November 8th, Walker said that he got a phone call from a Macy’s employee, informing him that he has been fired. In a statement, a Macy’s spokesperson said:

“At Macy’s the safety of our customers and colleagues is always our top priority, and all incidents that put anyone at risk are taken seriously. Per our policy, we are unable to provide any additional information.”

Walker, who worked at Macy’s for 18 years before his termination, said:

“Everything I did was to protect the people in that store. I wasn’t trying to protect a ring. I was trying to protect the people I care about.”

He added:

“When you see people you love and the customers you love attacked, something different takes over.”

Serrato allegedly stabbed Walker five times after Walker says that he hit him to try and disarm him. Walker said:

“When I hit him in the back, the weapon that he had taken out of his duffel bag, he immediately stabbed me in the side.”

A Gwinnett County police officer showed up and shot the suspect as he tried to get away, injuring the suspect. When Walker was informed that he was fired, he said:

“I have been terminated with no severance, no insurance, no nothing.”

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Macy’s and many large retail stores have strict policies forbidding employees from intervening in thefts. Walker said that the company policy typically applies to petty theft and shoplifters and that he expected to be able to return to work. He said:

“I was trying to protect human life.”

Walker is now unemployed for the first time in nearly two decades and says he feels betrayed. He added:

“I’m terminated for caring about protecting my employees and customers.”

In San Francisco, a long-time 7-Eleven worker speaks out about trying to stop an assault suspect who punched him before killing a third man. The employee, who wishes to be identified as Bob said, ” Yeah, I was lucky.”

Bob was left battered and bruised after the attack. He and another man were attacked at random by a suspect at the store near Bayshore Boulevard and Arleta Avenue in Visitacion Valley.

Police said that the suspect went on to kill a third man outside in yet another unprovoked assault. That man was identified as 77-year-old Richard Owen Sr., and that incident was caught on surveillance video. Bob said:

“Very scary … I’m sorry about that guy, what happened to him, and his family.”

The suspect, identified as 32-year-old Charles Short, was arrested on a number of felony counts, including murder, kidnapping, assault, mayhem, and robbery.

Bob said that he does not feel like a hero for stepping in. He said:

“No, I don’t believe. Just tried to help. Anybody could have done that.”

Bob began working at that 7-Eleven store 40 years ago, a few months after his sone Richard was born. His son, Richard said:

“It should not happen to him especially because he wouldn’t hurt a fly and for something like this to happen to him, it’s very unfortunate.”

Even after this violent incident, Bob had hopes of returning to work, but his family insisted that he retire. Bob reluctantly agreed, saying, “It’s not worth it.”

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