Plant City police: Man fatally impaled himself after stealing knife and fleeing from Lowe's

Published May 7 2017
Updated May 7 2017

PLANT CITY— A man died Friday after allegedly stealing a knife from a Lowe's Home Improvement store and impaling himself with it while fleeing from authorities.

The Plant City Police Department responded to a shoplifting call around 6:40 p.m. Friday at the Lowe's store at 2801 James L. Redman Parkway. Lowe's employees said a man, who was identified Sunday as 53-year-old Jerry Ellis Word, of Lakeland, removed a knife from its packaging, concealed it and tried to leave the store without paying for it.

He was confronted by Lowe's loss prevention staff, but the man waved the knife in a threatening way before fleeing through the parking lot, according to police.

Police say the man ran toward the Parks Springs apartment complex at 300 Park Springs Circle, where they believe he impaled himself with the knife in the "upper arm area." The man continued to run before police found him collapsed behind a building at the apartment complex.

He was taken to a local hospital by Plant City Fire Rescue, where he died a short time later.

In a news release on Sunday, police officials said an investigation was ongoing and asked anyone with information to contact the department at (813) 757-9200.