*Parking lot deaths: Non-retail related – various casual factors. From gang violence, drive by shootings, arguments turned deadly, victims found in cars, etc.
Comparing this to our recently reported robbery and burglary data, shows that 6% of the 5,974 publicly reported robberies and burglaries resulted in death.
In the sections below, we examine other variables – who was killed and by whom, gender, type of store, geographic location, and weekday occurrence.
15 “Workplace Violence” Deaths
In many tragic cases, it is employees who become victims of violence at retail establishments. Of the deaths reported by the Daily in 2016, 105 of them were employees. Of the total killed, 8 of them were carried out by another store employee and 7 were committed by a relative or friend.
The remaining 90 were killed during a robbery or burglary.
The two graphics below give a gender breakdown of the employees and show how they were killed. The data shows that 72.4% of victims were men with 96.2% killed by a gun.
24% – 91 Suspect Deaths in Robberies & Burglaries
Who took them out?
In 2016, there were 91 cases in which a suspect to a robbery or burglary was killed. The graph to the left shows who – police, employee, bystander, etc. – killed the suspect in these cases.
In most instances (54 percent), the suspect was killed by a police officer. Not far behind are the employees themselves, who were responsible for killing the suspect in 35 percent of the reported retail deaths in 2016. The remainder of the reported suspect fatalities (11 percent) was either by suicide or a bystander/customer.
Additionally, 10 reported suspect deaths happened as a result of the suspect attempting to flee law enforcement and 3 took place in police custody.
13.1% – 49 Customers Killed at Retail Locations
65.3% Outside Store – 34.7% Inside Store
4.5% – 17 Shoplifter Deaths
4 Law Enforcement
Store Types – Reported Employees Killed By Suspects
In 2016, suspects killed employees at various types of retail locations. According to publicly reported data, though, the great majority (55 percent) of employees that died in these incidents worked at convenience stores. The remaining percentage were employed at a wide variety of businesses, from jewelry stores and pharmacies to gun shops and automotive stores.
Among the employees killed, the oldest was a 70-year-old liquor store owner. The youngest was a 15-year-old Mr. Hero employee.
Total Deaths by Store Type
As the chart below indicates, convenience stores – by a slim margin – saw the largest percentage of reported deaths in 2016 – whether it was a suspect, employee, or bystander/customer. Gas stations and big box retailers weren’t far behind. These three store types combined reported nearly three-quarters of the total deaths in 2016.
Other stores types, as the chart shows, include drug stores, restaurants, and dollar stores.
Deaths by Proximity to Store (Inside or Out?)
Deaths by Weekday
Weekends are the Most Dangerous
To get a picture of which days saw the most reported retail deaths during the week in 2016, we’ve broken the data down by day.
Clearly, most retail deaths reported last year (49 percent) fell within the Friday through Monday timeframe, indicating that weekends see the most activity.
The second highest day is Wednesday – midweek – which saw 14.5 percent of the reported deaths last year. Thursday saw the lowest percentage of reported deaths in 2016, with just 1 out of every 10 retail fatality occurring on that day of the week.
Deaths By State
1. Texas (43)
2. California (39)
3. Florida (31)
4. Georgia (23)
5. Ohio (17)Given the fact that the top three states happen to be the highest populated, there is an obvious correlation between state population and the number of reported retail deaths. This same pattern has been seen in all of the industry ORC studies, including the Daily’s. The states with the most people simply see the most crime.
Deaths by City
Population is also a factor when it comes to the top 10 cities with the most reported deaths. As the chart below shows, half of the cities with the most reported deaths come from one of the top 5 states listed above.
105 employees, 91 suspects, 49 customers, 17 shoplifters, 5 LP or security associates and 4 police officers were violently killed during the commission of a crime in retail in 2016.
These numbers sadly reflect that criminal activity in retail establishments can be dangerous and often times deadly. Needless to say that every retailer and every Loss Prevention executive must remain vigilant in their training, processes, and programs to help prevent the loss of life in any situation, even that of the suspects. As we must all remain committed to store safeness for everyone.
Ultimately, this information does not capture all of the existing data with respect to retail deaths across the country. It merely represents the incidents that were publicly reported and the data we began tracking.
Certainly, based on this report we’ve expanded our tracking methodology for next years report and will be able to provide more data to hopefully make an impact and promote store safeness.
Still, it gives us a critical snapshot and never-before-seen look at retail deaths across the United States.