81-Year-old, Duaine Hamilton, who has worked at the soon-to-be shutted Sears store located at Columbia Place Mall for years, was killed at work during a confrontation with a pair of male shoplifters, said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. The store is listed as one of 71 Sears locations slated to be closed.
During a news conference Wednesday, Lott said Hamilton was on his shift when two suspects, identified as 40-year-old Jason Randolph and Jeffery Alan Simmons, entered the store and attempted to steal two 49-inch TVs, according to the sheriff, but Hamilton, an Air Force veteran, attempted to stand in their way to stop them. The two then attacked Hamilton, knocking him to the ground where he took a blow to the head.
The suspects then fled the store, deputies say. Hamilton was taken to the hospital where he was put on life support, but he ultimately passed away last Saturday.source
He was buried Wednesday morning.
Both suspects will formally be charged with murder, Lott said.
Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
On June, 7th, 2017, Sears Holdings Corp. announced plans to close 72 locations, including its Sears store and Sears Auto Center at Columbia Place Mall.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends at this difficult time.