Not a Tango, nothing to see here

September 30, 2011

Wal-Mart deserves none of your money

Filed under: 2A, rights, self-defense, Uncategorized — antitango @ 10:03 am

I don’t shop at Wal-Mart.  I haven’t given them a dime since January of 2011.

Here’s why.  On Jan 13, 2011, 4 Wal-Mart asset protection employees (1 was a manager) witnessed a thief stuff a notebook computer under his shirt.  They confront him and take him to a monitored room so they can call the police.  Once in there, he pulls out the notebook and places it on the desk.  He then reaches into a coat and pulls out a handgun.  He shoves it into one of the AP guys who immediately puts his hands into the air and demanded they move so he can leave, presumably with his new hostage.  Another employee whips the guy around and all of the AP guys (minus a lady off on the side) wrestle the gun away from him.

At this point, Wal-Mart has 4 heroes that prevented a gunman from taking more hostages and potentially killing their customers.  They did the sensible thing.

They fired them.  You see, Wal-Mart has a policy that states that employees “should retreat if an individual reveals a weapon.”

Where do you retreat to when you’re a hostage?  Where do you retreat to when you are one of many employees standing between the gunman and his only exit route?

Imagine this…  you are 2 feet away from a gunman that has your friend and co-worker hostage.  You have 2 options.  Hide under a desk or save your friend’s life.  I say the employees chose right.  Judge for yourself.

Direct links until I can unscrew the video embedding.

The reason this has been posted in September, even though the incident was in January, is that KSL only recently was able to get the recordings through a GRAMA request.  The former employees are currently in a lawsuit with Wal-Mart that is expected to be before a judge in 2013.  I wish them the best of luck!

Note: yes I know that’s the pin from The Comedian in The Watchmen.  It’s surprisingly the same as Wal-Mart + the blood spatter.



  1. And I am gonna disagree with you: They should be fired. As Security or AP or whatever you want to call them, they cannot ( and should not) have blocked him when he tried to leave. The merchandise was recovered and they are NOT LEOs to detain or arrest anybody. I do not know of any store chain, much less WalMart that allows any employee to get physical against anybody excepting self-defense.
    What I see is 3 guys who went all macho and almost made stuff worst. Let his sorry ass go and give copies of the video to the authorities.

    Comment by Miguel — September 30, 2011 @ 11:00 am

  2. 2 things. First, they followed store policy when it comes to confronting shoplifters. Second, they never touched him until after he shoved the gun into the one guy. At that point, there can be NO DOUBT that it was self defense. Disarming the guy vs running away was the only thing against store policy that they did.

    Comment by antitango — September 30, 2011 @ 11:15 am

  3. They did not follow store policy when it comes to confronting and apprehending shoplifters. They’re not to try to detain them in any way more than a hand on the shoulder to direct them to the back. if they resist in ANY way at ANY time, loss prevention is to back off, let them go and call the police. 2 men blocking him from leaving (from the video, it seemed like the guy in red knew that, but the other two, especially the guy who decided to block the exit with his entire body, did not.) is not store policy. It’s difficult to see from the video, but while he may have reached for a gun in his pocket, it looked like he still had his hands in his pockets when he tried to leave the room, and it’s hard to tell when he produced the weapon. Would he have produced the weapon had the employees actually followed store policy and let the police deal with detaining him?

    While I absolutely abhor the victim disarmament policies many employers force their workers to obey, the video, and the accounts of the events that circulated online when this story first broke are a bit different. I think what it comes down to is, depending on exactly when the detainee produced the weapon, loss prevention may have actually escalated the situation into a potentially life threatening one.

    Comment by Dylan Baxter (@ddbaxte) — September 30, 2011 @ 11:37 am

    • They never laid a hand on him, though. He was standing there, but intimidation techniques aren’t unheard of and certainly are not illegal. Just because the thief THOUGHT he had to stay there doesn’t mean he really did have to.

      The fact that they stood by the door was not what’s the issue. These guys were specifically fired for stripping the gun away. Also, ddbaxte, it’s my understanding that the gun came out right when you see the guy closest to him raise his hands to the air. At that point, the gun came out and got stuck into the other guy’s side or wherever it is he stuck it.

      Comment by antitango — September 30, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

  4. IANAL nor do I play on TV or the Internet. Nothing in this message should be construed as legal advice.

    My reading of UT Code Title 77 Chapter 7 Section 1 and Section 3 suggest that detention was legally permissable in this scenario. While the value of the laptop likely made the initial crime a misdemeanor, Utah Code Title 76 Chapter 6 Section 412 (1) (a) (iii) made the crime a second degree felony due to the possession of a dangerous weapon by the actor.

    Comment by Link P (@peaceloveammo) — October 3, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

    • You’re absolutely right…. mostly. The issue is that until the weapon was drawn, they had no idea it was there and as such they couldn’t use that to detain since it was not a known fact. HOWEVER, he was under no obligation to follow them to the AP room, either. Just because he thought he had to did not mean that he did.

      Comment by antitango — October 3, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

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