A shoplifting call by Walmart asset protection Sunday afternoon turned into a shooting investigation, according to reports.
According to Calhoun Police Department reports:
Police were called to the Calhoun Walmart, 450 W. Belmont Drive, just after 1:30 p.m. Sunday when a man — later identified as 30-year-old Mathew Roberts — was seen leaving with merchandise he hadn’t paid for and getting into the passenger seat of a car.
When an officer arrived, the vehicle was sitting westbound at a traffic light on Highway 53 near South River Street.
When an officer initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, he heard a single gunshot from the car and eventually found the driver — later identified as 47-year-old Richard Thompson — slumped over unresponsive in the car with a handgun.
Roberts had exited the vehicle during the shooting and told police that Thompson had shot himself. He was placed under arrest by an officer on the scene.
Thompson still had a pulse once he was disarmed by officers. He was pulled from the car and cared for by officers until fire and ems could arrive. Thompson was treated by fire personnel and then transported by EMS to AdventHealth Gordon for treatment.
Walmart asset protection reported to police that Roberts had stolen two Falcons jerseys, a pair of sweatpants and two t-shirts, totaling $149.28 in items. He is charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor shoplifting.
According to Gordon County Deputy Coroner Jonathan Pressley, Thompson eventually died of a gunshot wound to the head. The case is still under investigation.