Jonathan Sorensen, a 25-year-old suspected shoplifter, died after being detained by Kmart security guards in Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 3 (video below).
According to police, Sorensen was trying to leave the store when Kmart security officers restrained him, noted KOAT.
Kmart officials said they are cooperating with authorities. No Kmart employees have been arrested yet, more than two weeks after the incident.
The Office of the Medical Investigator is expected to announce what caused Sorensen's death. The Sorensen family's lawyer said that store security guards used excessive and unnecessary force, reported KRQE.
According to Sorensen’s caregiver, the young man suffered from schizophrenia.
While Kmart and police officials are not saying much, a young woman who filmed part of the incident is speaking out.
Chantel Trujillo pulled out her cellphone and tried to record while Kmart employees attempted to block her and told her not to film with this reason: "Because."
Trujillo's video begins after the police and EMS workers arrive. Kmart workers place themselves in front of Sorenson's body, but his legs are visible. One Kmart employee tries to justify their actions by saying that Sorenson was resisting. Moments later, a cop walks over and tells Trujillo and others to move to another part of the store.
Trujillo told Burque Media that three loss-prevention officers had Sorensen handcuffed and were on top of him while the young man called for help. Trujillo believed it was a serious situation because she is trained in therapeutic crisis intervention (TCI) and is aware of how people should be restrained without blocking their airway.
"He was saying he wanted water," Trujillo recalled. "He said he’s sorry and I’m scared, and that’s the last thing he said. They were screaming at him as if he had killed somebody. They were on top of him for easily 20 minutes. When the cop got there and told them to get off him, we saw he was soiled [with his own urine and feces]."
Trujillo said that she kept track of how long the security officers were on top of Sorenson.
"I do that at work because of my job," Trujillo stated. "You’re not supposed to cut off their breathing. Any legal restraint is holding down their legs in a way that doesn’t cut off their breathing."
Trujillo recalled that a female held Sorensen's legs and demanded that he be quiet or he’d "get it even worse."
Trujillo said that two of the three Kmart guards looked "calm and collected" and "nonchalant" when they got off Sorensen’s lifeless body, but she recalled that a young guard appeared to be shaken up and told someone on his cellphone: "Whatever you can do to bail me out…"
"I felt that was him realizing, s---, this guy is dead," Trujillo recalled. "He looked freaked out. That kid showed it to me in his face, they had to have known. It was at a point where I could tell they were just waiting for the police to show up."
"The other security guards were walking around like they were in charge, like nothing out of the ordinary happened," Trujillo added. "Only the kid showed empathy and sadness."
"The way it was handled was like a cover-up," Trujillo stated.