East Point, AL – A Walmart security guard who was shot last December by a shoplifting convicted felon was fired soon after he returned to work at the big box store in East Point.
The incident occurred on Dec. 11, 2020 when Walmart Security Officer Brad Scurry was on duty at the East Point Walmart on Cleveland Avenue, WGCL reported.
Police said Scurry and another employee confronted a shoplifter as he tried to leave the store and the suspect – later identified as 24-year-old Tyler Cortez Johnson – pulled out a gun and fired it at the security officer, WSB reported.
The gunman fled the scene after the shooting but was quickly apprehended because another Walmart employee followed him and called 911, WGCL reported.
“Scenes like this can scare the entire community especially if the shooter is still outstanding, so we’re definitely thankful that employee safely contacted 911,” East Point Police Detective Captain Allyn Glover told reporters at a press briefing after the incident.
“We arrived on the scene and what we learned was that a loss prevention agent and another employee had walked up to an individual they believed had shoplifted, and a scuffle ensued,” Capt. Glover said.
Scurry was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in serious condition after the bullet ripped through his arm and chest and lacerated numerous organs, WGCL reported.
He was rushed into emergency surgery.
The security officer, a former member of the National Guard, survived the attack and eventually returned to work at Walmart, WXIA reported.
But Scurry said he was written up by a supervisor on his first day back for having failed to follow company protocol during the incident when he was shot.
“That was the beginning of the end I guess,” he told WXIA.
Scurry was fired shortly thereafter because he told a protester in front of the Walmart to shut up.
He said he took responsibility for his behavior but didn’t think it was an offense that should have resulted in his termination, WXIA reported.
“I was there protecting Walmart’s interest,” the former security officer explained.
Scurry said that his medical bills from the shooting had been paid by worker’s compensation and he had also been given about $17,000 in lost wages during his recovery, but the termination so soon after he return to the job stung, WXIA reported.
He said it made him feel “disposable” to the big box store he’d risked his life for.
“Disposable, that’s not something anyone wants to feel,” Scurry said. “I did everything above and beyond what I could do for you and you return my commitment with the bare minimum.”
He said he needed to work to make ends meet and now he’s facing possible eviction, WXIA reported.
“I didn’t want to leave Walmart,” the former security officer said. “But, I thought maybe it was the universe telling me maybe I need to slow down.”
Scurry said he filed for unemployment, but Walmart denied his unemployment claim.
Walmart did not reply to WXIA’s requests for comment.
Jail records showed that Johnson was arrested after he shot Scurry and remained behind bars in lieu of a $50,000 bond for the aggravated assault charge and bonds of $5,000 each for the lesser charges.
Johnson will also face gun charges as a felon illegally in possession of a firearm when he shot the security officer, WXIA reported.