A security officer working at an Alabama Walmart was shot while confronting an armed shoplifter, leaving him with multiple lacerated organs. However, he was shocked when his employer found a reason to fire him after he recovered enough to return to work.
Walmart Security Officer Brad Scurry, who is also a veteran member of the National Guard, was on duty at an East Point store when he and another employee were tasked with confronting a suspected shoplifter. Unfortunately, when Scurry and his coworker approached 24-year-old Tyler Cortez johnson, the suspect pulled out a gun and fired at the officer, WGCL reports.
The gunman fled as Scurry lay bleeding on the ground, the round having torn through his arm and chest. He was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital in serious condition. Doctors then performed emergency surgery after it was discovered that fragments had lacerated numerous organs.
Scurry survived and eventually recovered enough to return to work. However, minutes after clocking in for his first shift since the shooting, a supervisor greeted him with a disciplinary write-up. He was told that he would receive a strike on his record for failing to follow company policy during the confrontation that led to the shooting.
“That was the beginning of the end I guess,” he said.
Sadly, Scurry’s premonition was right. Shortly after the write-up, Scurry confronted a protester disrupting shoppers outside the store. The company found out that he had told the demonstrator to “shut up,” and he was immediately fired. While he admits that he should’ve used different language, Scurry doesn’t believe his behavior was a fireable offense.
“I was there protecting Walmart’s interest,” Scurry said. “Disposable, that’s not something anyone wants to feel. I did everything above and beyond what I could do for you and you return my commitment with the bare minimum.”
Suddenly out of a job, Scurry filed for unemployment and received a letter stating that he could potentially receive up to $7,782 if his employer didn’t contest the payout. However, he soon opened another letter denying his claim since Walmart declined his request for unemployment.
“I didn’t want to leave Walmart. But, I thought maybe it was the universe telling me maybe I need to slow down,” he said.
Thankfully, Scurry’s medical bills were paid in full through worker’s compensation. Additionally, he received $17,000 to make up for lost wages due to his medical recovery. However, he still lost his job and benefits, and he had no unemployment to rely on while he looked for another job. He faced eviction from his home.
Tyler Cortez Johnson was ultimately caught after another Walmart employee pursued him and called the police. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as charges for being a felon in possession of an illegal firearm. He was issued a $50,000 bond for the assault and bonds of $5,000 each for the lesser charges, WXIA reports.
Scurry has been hailed a hero, but he didn’t receive the hero’s welcome from his former employer. It’s unclear which policy he violated or if his coworker was similarly disciplined.
Scurry is trying to look on the bright side, remaining thankful for narrowly escaping a deadly situation. Still, the mounting bills and fear of losing his home are ever-present in his mind.
Hopefully, an employer will read about Scurry’s heroics and offer him a position. After all, it’s rare that an employee would consider taking a bullet simply looking out for their company’s best interest.