Woman dies after confrontation at Walmart - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Woman dies after confrontation at Walmart

By Brandon Herring - bio | email

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Conway Police are investigating the death of a woman at the Walmart store in Conway.

According to police, officers were called in reference to a fight in progress at the store located at 2709-A Church St. in Conway shortly after 8 p.m. Friday. Investigators learned two Walmart asset protection employees stopped the woman because they suspected her of shoplifting. The woman, a juvenile and the two employees got into a fight, police said.

The woman, identified by authorities as Dorina Williams, 41, of Mullins, collapsed and was taken to Conway Medical Center where she was later pronounced dead.

Deputy Coroner Tony Hendrick said Williams died of natural causes. An autopsy was performed Sunday, and test results could take 10-12 weeks.

Williams' mother Patricia Jackson said she has a lot of questions about what happened. She said Williams has eight children, and she doesn't know what to tell them.

"What am I going to tell them?" Jackson asked. "Go ask the man from Walmart who choked her to death?"

Williams' 16-year-old daughter Myiesha Williams said she was with her mother as they left the Walmart.

"She said, 'Hold on, I'll give you my bag,' and he just started choking her," Williams said about the confrontation between her mother and one of the store employees. "He wouldn't let her go. I told them, 'She can't breathe, she can't breathe,' and they wouldn't listen. They wouldn't."

Williams' niece Lakeisha Williams said she was waiting in the car when she noticed something was wrong. She explained that her aunt had asthma, and it appeared she was having trouble breathing.

"She asked me for an inhaler and I gave it to her, and the man took it from me," she said.

Williams' family members said they know Williams was breaking the law, but they feel the store employees went too far in trying to physically stop her.

"If this man would have just called the police like he should have, we wouldn't be sitting here now," commented Williams' uncle Rickey Nichols. "He may have been doing his job, but I think he overdid it."

Family members say they hope eyewitnesses will come forward to help them figure out what happened. They believe a man recorded video, and they say a nurse came to help Williams. Jackson said anyone with information can call her at 843-423-0321.

"Maybe [that will] give us some closure because I know we're not going to get it from the police department, and we're not going to get the closure from Walmart," she said.

Walmart spokesman Dan Fogleman said the company's condolences go to Williams' family. He said the company will work with police to figure out what happened at the store. He said surveillance video will likely help with that investigation.

According to Conway Police spokeswoman Catina Hipp, a juvenile was arrested and charged with shoplifting and assault and battery.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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