In a January 2011 incident at a Wal-Mart in Layton, three employees confronted a man who had put a laptop computer down his pants and escorted him to a security office. There, the man showed them a gun and, the employees claim, pushed it into one of their backs.
The three grabbed the gun away and pinned him against a wall before police arrived. They were fired because Wal-Mart said they should have allowed the man leave the office and not wrestled with him.
I am gonna say out front that this was a BS decision by Wal-Mart. We are not talking about going after the guy and doing a whole take-down-Gecko-45 thing but the shoplifter was already detained and inside the security office. The initial event was over and when the critter pulled out the gun, there was simply no time to go over the SOP handbook and check what was supposed to be done but react and avoid unnecessary blood spillage.
Wal-Mart assumes that the bad guy was simply going to walk away which is a possibility but not necessarily the only outcome. Gambling using your life as collateral is idiotic but when it is a corporate order is criminal.
My take (and with the caveat that the info we have is accurate) is that the employees should be re-hired and that the loss prevention practices should be revised! Maybe the error is enclosing a possible dangerous person in a room away from witnesses and back up.
But then again it is easier to fire three associates than the idiotic upper managers that came with the idea.