Walmart Worker Dies After Stopping Suspected Shoplifter

By Julie Tam
|  Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010  |  Updated 5:32 PM CDT
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Family Mourns Death of Loved One

NBCDFW.com

Bruce Florence dies after struggling with shoplifter.

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Family Mourns Death of Loved One

Walmart employee dies after struggling with shoplifter.
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 A Walmart employee trying to stop a suspected shoplifter from stealing a $328 television who suffered a head injury, has died.

Police said Bruce Florence was trying to grab the TV from a shoplifter, when that shoplifter knocked him to the concrete floor. Florence was conscious and able to talk for several days while in the hospital but took a turn for the worse on Father's Day.

"He just cared about his job, so much so, that he was willing to risk his safety," said Cathey Florence, the victims wife. "He was sick, cause he needed a liver transplant. If he could get up and go to work for what we needed, that shoplifter should have been on a job, 37 years old, instead of out stealing."

Fort Worth police arrested William Alan Kennedy and said he's suspected in several thefts there. "I'm so angry right now. I hope they give him the electric chair," said Cathey. "I think they should take his life from him because he took my dad's life," Kelsey, Bruce's 14-year-old daughter, said.
 
She is one of three children and two stepchildren Bruce leaves behind. Walmart store manager Hilda Ferris said, "Bruce was an outstanding associate who never met a stranger; but, most importantly, he was our friend."

Bruce was a deacon at his church and often worked two jobs to provide for his family."Go to bed at night, can't sleep, you know," Cathey said. "It's just hard." Kennedy is charged with aggravated robbery, but police said they could add a charge of murder, depending on the autopsy results.

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