A tragic incident unfolded at a Walmart store in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, when an off-duty employee fatally shot a customer who attempted to intervene in a dispute between the employee and a female colleague. Tironie Sterling, 22, now faces charges of first-degree murder as a result.
The incident took place on Tuesday afternoon, as reported by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators revealed that Sterling arrived at the suburban Fort Lauderdale Walmart to meet with his female co-worker. During their encounter, a heated argument ensued, escalating to a physical confrontation. Amidst the chaos, Sterling’s handgun fell to the floor.
A male customer witnessing the altercation stepped in to help the female employee, but was fatally shot multiple times by Sterling after he retrieved his weapon. The identity and age of the victim have not yet been disclosed.
Following the incident, Sterling fled the scene but was apprehended by law enforcement officers a few hours later. He is currently being held without bond. Details regarding his legal representation have not been confirmed at this time.
Walmart spokesman Charles Crowson expressed deep sorrow over the senseless act of violence and extended heartfelt condolences to the deceased customer’s family. He commended the bravery of the customer who intervened in an apparent attack on a Walmart associate and acknowledged the grief the incident has caused. Crowson also announced that Sterling has been suspended from Walmart, and the process to terminate his employment is underway.