GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The man stabbed during a robbery at the Macy’s at the Mall of Georgia in September says he was fired for violating company policy by intervening in the crime.
“Everything I did was to protect the people in that store,” said David Walker, who worked for Macy’s for 18 years before his termination. “I wasn’t trying to protect a ring. I was trying to protect the people I care about.”
Walker, who was the manager of the jewelry department, says he thought the man who was smashing jewelry cases also had a gun when he entered the store Sept. 2. The sound of shattered glass gave the impression that shots had been fired for Walker and many customers and employees inside at the time.
“I saw what I thought was a gun,” Walker said. “I heard what I thought was a gun, and I reacted.”
He says he hid at the first signs of a robbery and theft in the jewelry department, but he then confronted the suspect when he feared there were customers and staff close enough to him if he had a gun.
“When you see people you love and the customers you love attacked, something different takes over,” Walker said.
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Gwinnett County police say the suspect was carrying a crowbar and a knife at the time of robbery. The suspect, 27-year-old Jose Reyes Serrato, allegedly stabbed Walker five times after Walker says he hit him to try and disarm him.
“When I hit him in the back, the weapon that he had taken out of his duffel bag, he immediately stabbed me in the side,” Walker said.
A Gwinnett County police officer showed up and shot the suspect as he tried to get away, injuring the suspect.
Two months later, on Tuesday, Walker said he got a phone call from a Macy’s employee to inform him that he’s been fired.
“I have been terminated with no severance, no insurance, no nothing,” he said.
Macy’s and many large retail stores have strict policies forbidding employees from intervening in thefts.
Walker said the company policy typically applies to petty theft and shoplifters and that he expected to be able to return to work.
“I was trying to protect human life,” he said.
In a statement, a Macy’s spokesperson said:
“At Macy’s the safety of our customers and colleagues is always our top priority, and all incidents that put anyone at risk are taken seriously. Per our policy, we are unable to provide any additional information.”
Walker is now unemployed for the first time in nearly two decades and says he feels betrayed.
“I’m terminated for caring about protecting my employees and my customers,” he said.
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