A store manager in Kent, Washington, is thanking a customer and two police officers for saving his life after a confrontation with a shoplifter resulted in him going into cardiac arrest. The frightening incident was all captured on surveillance cameras, shared by KIRO-7.
Devinder Pal Singh, who is at home recovering from surgery, was working at his 7-Eleven when a 22-year-old man entered his store around 5:30 a.m.
According to employees, the man has stolen from that specific 7-Eleven numerous times. Kent police describe him as a “prolific” shoplifter.
One of Singh’s clerks called him into the store, where he stood between the alleged shoplifter and the door. The clerk held the man from behind for police to arrive; however, he was able to overpower the clerk’s grip and fled the store. Singh, on the phone with authorities, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during the scuffle.
In what Singh describes as the “highest level of humanity,” a female customer began CPR on him as Kent police officers, Jeremiah Johnson and Doug Westcott, entered the store. The officers took over performing CPR. Johnson, who came inside with an AED, told KIRO-7 that it was “just as intense as if he were the victim of a gunshot wound.”
The officers delivered a shock through AED (automated external defibrillator), as Singh had not had a heartbeat for several minutes. As firefighters arrived, Singh’s pulse returned.
Singh doesn’t remember much from the incident, as he blacked out while on the phone with 911, but he does remember coming to and hearing an officer tell him, “You [were] gone, but now you are back.”
His family doctor, who said Singh had a blockage in his heart, was shocked he survived.
Meanwhile, his son-in-law, Rajbir Singh, said the officers and woman “are basically real heroes.”
Officer Johnson arrested the young shoplifter on Monday for an unrelated criminal trespass. “I have his date of birth memorized,” he told the outlet. The suspect had been captured on video stealing from other businesses, and will likely be cited for theft.
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