Walmart employees fired after disarming gunman.

This is a discussion on Walmart employees fired after disarming gunman. within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Link Summary: A couple loss prevention associates take a guy to a back room to hold him after watching him stuff a laptop in his ...

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Thread: Walmart employees fired after disarming gunman.

  1. #1
    Member Array KralBlbec's Avatar
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    Walmart employees fired after disarming gunman.

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    Summary:

    A couple loss prevention associates take a guy to a back room to hold him after watching him stuff a laptop in his clothes. After they get there, he pulls a gun and they disarm him. He turns out to be a convicted felon with a long history. The next week they are fired.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Well, after the BG's read this, they will be pulling their guns as soon as they are confronted by store employees, inside the store with all of the employees. The only good that could come of it would be a dozen CC'ers taking their Walmart walk being there at the same time.
    Hiram25
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I can sense a lawsuit coming
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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    No comment on the story except that, once again, we see that Wal-Mart is the Worst Company in the Entire World.

    However, special mention here to how Kralblbec cited the article. A great descriptive title, a link, and a brief summary. Anybody ever wanting to refer to a story elsewhere should follow this model.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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    Senior Member Array hudsonvalley's Avatar
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    I've said it before...Walmart is not friendly to our cause....buy from local gun store and let them sell $5 DVD's to illegals.....I mean undocumented...
    Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.
    ---Ronald Reagan

  7. #6
    3D
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    Poulsen said it all when he said: "Do I fight for my life or do I stand here and watch?"
    They did a great job.
    I'll be sending a letter to Walmart over this one.
    "It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end"____Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

  8. #7
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    Here is what I just sent Walmart's corporate office:

    Dear Sir or Madam;

    I was very distressed to read of Wal-Mart firing 4 of it's employees for defending their lives when confronted in a confined space by an armed felon. The story I am referring to can be found here: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=14319284

    In my opinion, this decision by Wal-Mart shows that your company does not value my safety as a customer. These four employees were confronted by an armed felon who was willing to kill in order to escape. The official Wal-Mart solution to this was that the employees should not have defended themselves (and everyone else in the store), but should have instead let an armed felon leave the security office AND GO OUT INTO THE STORE WITH THE CUSTOMERS.

    Since it is clear to me that Wal-Mart is more concerned with upholding it's policy manual than it is with the safety of it's customers, I will no longer be coming to your stores. Should your company reverse this incredibly short-sighted decision to fire these employees for protecting themselves and every customer in your store that day, I will re-consider.

    Until then, I am an ex-customer.
    Not that I have any expectation that they'll care.

    Matt
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    3D
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    I'm on it!!
    "It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end"____Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

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    Senior Member Array CowboyColby's Avatar
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    Wow, these people weren't defending property they were defending their lives plus possibly the lives of other employees and customers. They should of recieved a raise, an all expense paid vacation, and a ceremony. Wal Mart needs to change its policy.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Another example of the stupidity of Zero Tolerance type policies.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    VIP Member Array Brass63's Avatar
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    There are far more valuable and important things to lose than one's job as a Walmart employee.
    The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass63 View Post
    There are far more valuable and important things to lose than one's job as a Walmart employee.
    An understandable sentiment, but in this economy it may be that there aren't many jobs one can choose from. You take what you can get sometimes...
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    WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyColby View Post
    Wow, these people weren't defending property they were defending their lives plus possibly the lives of other employees and customers. They should of recieved a raise, an all expense paid vacation, and a ceremony. Wal Mart needs to change its policy.
    Sorry CC but that position is incorrect; In fact as fact they were defending property...To start...Which is EXACTLY how they got them self (all four) into a twist and by that ultimately a confrontation that _subsequently_ became a matter of life and potential death.

    Nothing occurs in a vacuum....To which no ending ever existed without a beginning (!).

    Everyone in this thread thus far seems to have missed this crucial and key statement as at the start of the story reported:

    But a week later, all four were fired from their jobs.
    Walmart said their actions had violated company policy and put their fellow workers and shoppers at risk.
    It is and has been very well known, as well as reported, that not just Wal-Mart but most every retailer in America today modern and current has had has had fro ages a standing policy for employees as related to product theft to NOT engage such persons and to NOT attempt to enforce local laws as related to same (!). Leave that work to the police who are trained and equipped to intersect with and handle such persons, who very often are desperate and by that desperation have and will do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals including escape (!).

    We have had _many multiple_ threads on this through the past to recent; Very often toward both Wal-Mart as well as Home Depot, and Dominos pizza delivery drivers.
    By now this should be common knowledge, especially here in this sub-area of all places .net.

    Corporate lawyers say company policies like the one at Walmart are common in the retail world. They're designed to protect employees and make sure they don't put merchandise ahead of their own safety.
    The mistake that the first asset protection, Poulsen, made in contacting the thief (Trent Allen Longton) was that he; "met him at the door and ushered him back to the loss prevention room to confront him.".

    Question:
    In real what happens a majority of the time, lest say at least 51% of such occurrences, when you or anyone confronts some person who you and they both know acted wrongly?
    Say they cut you off on the highway or steal a parking spot, and you beep your horn.
    What happens next as their reaction?
    Do they utter words of apology and contrition?
    Do they beg your pardon?

    No.

    They turn around, give YOU the finger and then attempt to turn it on you as though you are the jerk for making not of them being wrong and you being the wronged.
    Further on these streets every day this occurs and there are many people out there who will take it as a personal affront for you the aggrieved to call a violator on their actions, to which in turn they will then become angered to such end that they will want and even attempt to take your life.
    This happens every day of the week in the very real world of the USA.

    Now I ask what, exactly (!), did Paulsen think was going to be the result of confronting and taking a grown man into a back room that all four contend was small (!) and constricted in interior space; To do what...Question and interrogate him? Detain him there as under 'arrest' untill they either workout a mutually agreed upon arrangement, and/or actual law enforcement arrive?

    Very many times here again at this own site we have had conversations about the _legal_ limitations of store employees, including loss prevention 'agents', as related to contacting customers for any given reason.
    Be the customer an innocent (I posted about my own experience as same in a very active thread last year per an encounter at Home Depot) or guilty (see the NV police shooting at a Wal-Mart last summer), and the very real_limitations_ by local laws and federal civil rights laws as related to detainment, arrest, and enforcement of laws.

    We do not get to have it both ways capriciously case by case as we or one may feel it okay to be so.
    It's one way...Or the other way. Period, and with consistency.

    If this Longton person (BG) had been _me_ and I were contacted at the front door to be asked/told to go to some back room in the store; I'd tell that asset protection person(s) as at that point of my personal choice...To either call a real cop or go pound sand.
    Which is exactly what I was thinking and prepared to do during my own incident at Home Depot; Which I'd then reported here as a blog style within minutes of returning home that day upon going through the incident while my emotions and thoughts were still raw & fresh.

    Although Paulsen initially made the error upon contact,one of his other _three_ co-workers should have thought to them self that:
    A) This action is contrary to well known and long established store policy....Before any weaponry and such came to be known.
    B) Taking this grown man of unknown mental state (other than being crazy & desperate enough to risk HIS own everything over a $200 retail piece of plastic and wires!) into a small room where there is no space for THEM to move muchless flee if there is a problem such as dude being armed with ANY weapon be it a pocket knife as are now days very common (!) or simply his own hands, feet, and bodily fluid too.
    c) Their job title does not imply nor imbue them with law enforcement and police powers of detention, arrest, interrogation nor pat down & frisk ('Terry Stop')....Even as they might have seen a person attempt to steal an item directly.

    Then there is another issue that is not mentioned in this article nor this thread...

    Rather than watching the guy unpack the product from it's box, stuff it under his shirt and walk himself to the stores exit, knowing that clearly the man intends to steal the product.
    Why not think to make contact with him directly right then and there as at the time that he began to un-box the product, which itself is not normal for customers at that store, muchless stuff it under his shirt while there in the aisle.
    Approach the customer and ask if he (or she) has any questions about the features and function of the product stowed under their shirt and do so in a manner that is not accusatory but rather hey maybe you forgot it was there.
    Now of course we as adult people know what the score is; Attempted theft. But you play it low key and semi-daft, so as to give the thief an opportunity to correct him/herself AND to disarm them casually of the product wile allowing them to both save face and to make a no harm to anyone momentary escape.
    As your co-workers via radio observe and DIAL 911 calling in his/her general description and direction of travel to be picked up as they EXIT the store, by actual law enforcement officers trained and equipped (!) to handle such a person be they armed or not.

    People who work in the USA at major corporations including big box chains need to understand that a $200 write off is no big deal at all to do. In fact these corps. write in 'loss' to their annual budgets as a percentage annually expecting as much.
    Further it is far less expensive in the short term AND the long run to write off a $200 piece of plastic and wires than it is to cover the health insurance costs immediate or the long term disability or even DEATH costs of either an employee, or a third person unassociated store customer (inside or out) never mind to fight off a wrongful injury/death civil lawsuit by any such persons involved including the thief or thiefs descendants (!).

    People very much need to understand the bigger BIG picture on this subject.
    It is just chicken feed and value money that these store thieves lift per incident.
    Chicken feed!

    Human life, including that of the thief, is far more precious than ANY _THING_ one could ever find to buy inside of any retail store anywhere in the US; Especially so at a discount retailer such as Wal-Mart!

    Nobody is going to go hungry or homeless if some punk makes off with a 'netbook' computer which generally runs $200 or so, at Wal-Mart.

    Is it 'right' for people to steal things? Of course not.
    But this is not about right and wrong. That is what law enforcement officers decide and assess, along with a judge & jury.

    Real world though people have been and can be wounded as well as injured for LIFE to the point of disablement, and including death be it in the immediate or later including years and decades of pain later as a result of being wounded or injured & disabled.
    See the story from Nov '10 about the LEO who passed away as direct result of a shooting wound and long term disablement he'd suffered with for three decades. The shooter was then subsequently charged in these times with murder. Which folks here very much supported.

    People gotta use their noodle and act by thought as well as follow the rules and regulations including how to interact with persons guidelines as laid out and provided by their employer; Especially when acting as in the position of an 'asset protection agent'.

    The shoplifter smashed Gabriel Stewart up against a wall. It didn't take him long to realize that pressure against his lower back was from a loaded gun held by a desperate man who didn't want to go to jail.

    The gunman had a firm grip on Stewart's shoulder, telling him and three of his Walmart co-workers, "Don't make me do this."
    Stewart risked his own EVERYTHING, for what?!
    Nothing...Really.
    As a result he's now left without means to feed, house & protect his family...Which in a very real way is exactly what would have been the same net result had he been wounded in the scuffle or long term injured by being slammed against a wall (many adult males regardless of age have spinal alignment and low back issues) never mind had he been shot by this plainly by action and spoken words desperate person...Over nothing really.

    "Absolutely, time stopped," Stewart told KSL News. "I didn't know what to do."
    Stewart didn't know what to do at this point because rather than following policy and regulations, he literally went off book and had acted on and at his own accord.
    He didn't know what to do because he had no background of experience in same as by training (!), and that is because he was not employed by Wal-Mart to be in back rooms tusseling with anyone much less armed persons.

    Which is exactly what the story relates in the end...

    Corporate lawyers say company policies like the one at Walmart are common in the retail world. They're designed to protect employees and make sure they don't put merchandise ahead of their own safety.
    It is sad and unfortunate for all involved in this story; The thief, the four employees AND Wal-Mart too who for no fault of their own as by _reflection_ of thee four former employees being unable to act properly per the terms of their employment as _known to them prior_ to now by associated and incorrect view cost their employer even more than what that recovered $200 retail value piece of plastic & wires might have netted in profit against this storys negative press value.
    The statements and posting in this thread prove it.

    If I were a corp. exec. at Wal-Mart I'd have let them go too.
    Why?
    Because if they cannot follow store policy and regs. to an item of such clearly important and high risk position as this, then how can I trust they can do so toward any other task if they were to be reassigned.
    An item such as this should be a no brainer, and yet for very many folks who apply their own personal morals and sense of ethics to an employment related condition they as fact of action do show they have no brains.

    - Janq
    Last edited by Janq; February 11th, 2011 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Fixed the bold tags and corrected a typo.
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paaiyan View Post
    An understandable sentiment, but in this economy it may be that there aren't many jobs one can choose from. You take what you can get sometimes...
    Exactly.

    Which is why as an employee one should know (!) their employers well known and long ago established employee policys & regulations, and to follow them to the letter.

    These men gave up everything for what was and is in a very real way to Wal-Mart, a low profit value as singular...Nothing.

    - Janq

    "Live & learn". - An old timey saying
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  16. #15
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    ++++++ for Janq. Long, but well said. They are lucky the BG didn't pull the gun sooner, on being asked to go to the back, and then there might well have been a shooting and some injured/dead customers as well.

    A sister in-law worked in loss prevention at a commissary. I don't know what her instructions were, but she once followed someone out the store and asked them to stop. For her trouble she got a punch in the face, and though she kept her job, she lost a few days of work and suffered some pain. She had received NO training in SD, was unarmed, and either didn't know policy or actually did what someone foolishly told her was the "right thing." It wasn't.

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