Police: Suspect dead after bizarre shoplifting incident in Plant City

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – Police say a non-emergency call for a shoplifting ended with one man dead in Plant City.

Officers were called to the Lowe’s Home Improvement Center on James L. Redman Parkway around 6:40 Friday night for the report of a man who went into the store and removed a knife from its packaging before concealing it.

Police say store employees confronted him when he tried to leave without paying. The suspect reportedly threatened the employees with the knife then ran away towards the Park Springs Apartment complex on Park Springs Circle.

While he was running away, police believe he suffered a self-inflicted knife wound to his upper arm. He continued to run, but eventually collapsed behind a building in the apartment complex.

The suspect was taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Police have identified him as 53-year-old Jerry Word of Lakeland.

Anyone with information is asked to call Plant City Police at (813) 757-9200.

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