Medical examiner: Stress from altercation with shoplifter led to grocery store manager’s death

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office is releasing more information about the death of an employee at an Oklahoma City grocery store.

Around 9 p.m. on June 26, officers were called to the Crest Foods near N.W. 23rd St. and Meridian, following an incident with a reported shoplifter.

Crest near NW 23rd & Meridian

Authorities with the Oklahoma City Police Department told News 4 that 34-year-old Dajuan Wilson went into a Crest grocery store in Oklahoma City to steal beer.

However, he was caught and tased by security officers in the store.

While officers were speaking with witnesses, a police report states that 36-year-old Lester Barry III “fell to the ground and appeared to be having a seizure.”

Lester Barry III

The police report states that Barry had been involved in a fight while trying to apprehend Wilson.

Witnesses told investigators that Barry “may have been drive stunned with [the security guard’s] taser by [Wilson] during the apprehension,” the report states.

Officials say Barry was responsive, awake and breathing at first. However, he stopped breathing after a few minutes and officers began CPR. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Earlier this month, the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Barry’s cause of death was due to “hypertensive and atherosclerotic heart disease due to physical exertion from subduing fleeing suspect.” His manner of death was ruled a homicide.

On Monday, Barry’s full autopsy report was released.

The report indicates that Barry suffered multiple abrasions, contusions and lacerations of the head. However, it also states that he suffered from multiple health conditions like an enlarged heart and thickening of the walls of the left ventricle.

The autopsy also says that he suffered multiple rib fractures, which likely occurred when emergency crews were performing CPR on him.

“At autopsy, the decedent had hypertensive and atherosclerotic heart disease to include a stent with an occlusive thrombus in the left anterior descending coronary artery. Although the decedent had severe underlying heart disease, but for the stress induced from the altercation with the fleeing suspect he would not have necessarily died. Therefore, the manner of death is homicide,” the report states.

Wilson was arrested and booked into the Oklahoma County Jail on two complaint of first-degree manslaughter.

Dajuan Wilson

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