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Store Manager Has Heart Attack after Shoplift Confrontation; Saved by Customer’s CPR

A c-store manager credits one of his customers and two police officers with saving his life when he went into cardiac arrest after confronting a suspected shoplifter.

Police said the 22-year-old suspect is a “prolific” shoplifter. Workers in Kent, Washington, at the 7-Eleven where the incident happened said he’d stolen from them several times before.

Surveillance video from March 1 shows store manager Devinder Pal Singh, with 911 on the phone, confronting the suspect. A clerk then comes up behind the suspect and grabs him in an attempt to hold him until police arrive. The clerk and the suspect tussle, knocking down displays as the suspect inches out the door. Moments later, Singh, still on the phone, goes into cardiac arrest and collapses. “I don’t know what happened to me,” Singh said.A woman who’s a regular customer at the store started performing CPR on Singh.

Kent Police Officer Jeremiah Johnson got the call on his way to work. He and Officer Doug Westcott arrived and took over, delivering a shock with a defibrillator. “It’s just as intense as if he were the victim of a gunshot wound,” Johnson said. Singh was without a heartbeat for several minutes. “It might as well be 30 minutes,” Johnson said. Then the officers felt a pulse, just as firefighters arrived. Singh remembers the officers’ words when his heart started beating again: “You were gone, but you are back.” “It’s the little moments that make it all worth it,” Johnson said.   [Source: KIRO via CNN]

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