Grocery store clerk chases down, stabs shoplifter multiple times

SEATTLE — A suspected shoplifter was gravely wounded after a grocery store clerk tussled with him inside a Seattle-area supermarket and then chased him down the street to a parking lot and repeatedly stabbed him, police said on Thursday.

The 37-year-old man was attempting to steal from a Safeway Inc store in Bellevue, Washington, late on Wednesday before being “confronted inside the store by an employee,” city police said in a statement.

“When both involved individuals reached the bank parking lot, a second altercation ensued, and the Safeway employee stabbed the alleged shoplifter multiple times,” Bellevue police said. “The alleged shoplifter then staggered into Northeast Fourth Street, where he collapsed.”

The suspected shoplifter was sent to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said.

Bellevue police were initially called about 10 p.m. with reports of a store employee “covered in blood,” the statement said. There was no word on the employee’s condition.

Police said they were investigating “this complex incident.”

A Safeway spokeswoman said in a statement the matter was under police investigation and “we are doing all we can to assist law enforcement with that effort.”

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