Security guard killed in knife attack at Macy’s in Philadelphia

Two security guards were stabbed, one of them fatally, at a Macy’s store in Center City Philadelphia on Monday by a man who tried to steal hats from the store, authorities said.

A man entered the store around 10:45 a.m. and attempted to steal several hats before being stopped by security and turned away, John M. Stanford, Jr., interim commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, said at a news conference Monday.

The man returned to the store about 15 minutes later armed with a knife and “immediately goes straight for one of the security guards and then turns his attention to the other,” Commissioner Stanford said.

The suspect fled the store on a subway train after 11 a.m., and was soon found at Somerset Station, northeast of the store, where he was arrested, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said in a statement.

The murdered victim was identified as a 30-year-old shopkeeper. He was stabbed once in the neck and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to a statement from the Philadelphia Police Department. Another victim, a 23-year-old security guard, was stabbed in the face and left arm and is in stable condition, police said.

“This started as a retail theft, apparently escalated to a robbery, and then ultimately led to a murder,” Commissioner Stanford said. “It’s just a tragic situation”

The security guards and the suspect have not been publicly identified.

The Transportation Authority said earlier Monday that a third person was injured in the attack, but Philadelphia police later said there were only two victims.

It was also not immediately clear what led to the stabbing. Commissioner Stanford said Monday that he did not want to speculate on the man’s motive, adding that it “certainly appears” that the man attacked the security guard in retaliation for returning store merchandise he had attempted to steal.

The Macy’s store is on Market Street, across from Philadelphia City Hall. Commissioner Stanford said the store has “experienced one of the highest levels of retail theft” in Center City this year, adding that there have been more than 250 reports of shoplifting.

“We are heartbroken by the incident that occurred today,” Macy’s said in a statement Monday.

The store was closed Monday as police investigated, Macy’s said.

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