MARGATE (CBS4) – The family of a Walmart loss prevention officer continues to mourn their loss after a deadly shooting Friday night.
During the shooting, 49-year-old Luis Jhon was gunned down while dealing with a suspected shoplifter, according to Margate Police.
“My father was my best friend,” said 20-year-old Christian Jhon.
Jhon said his dad retired after working 20 years as a detention officer in New York and came to Florida.
“Growing up everybody knew my dad was always working,” said Christian. “He was never one to stop working.”
Christian said he and his dad were inseparable growing up, whether dropping him off at school, watching him play sports, or celebrating a family event.
“He called me an hour before he died, asking me if I had gotten a job I had interviewed for. He would always tell me he loved me. He would call just to tell me he loved me and I’d call him to just tell him I loved him too,” Christian said. “My dad was always there for me. Any problem I had he would always be there. He always had my back. I feel empty. Who do I call, who do I talk to the way I talked to my father?”
Margate Police identified the shoplifting suspect as 22-year-old Terrell Johnson. They said Johnson fled the store after the shooting and then took his own life.
“At first I was mad. I wanted to ask him why he would take my dad’s life,” Christian said. “I wanted to look him in the face and ask why he did it. Then I heard the next day he shot himself.”
The shooting happened about 7:15 Friday evening when the store was full of shoppers.
“I just grabbed my two kids, my seven and five year old, and ran,” said Jermaine Burbridge.
Edward Jorgensen said he heard the shots, he described the sound: “bang bang twice and everybody running like ants it was so scary.”
Police said the suspected shoplifter had taken a package of t-shirts.
Christian Jhon said his dad wasn’t even supposed to be working. Instead, he went to the store to help a co-worker deal with the situation.
“My dad was just that generous person who would always help. Whatever you needed,” Christian said. “If you needed money, clothes, whatever it was he would help, even if he didn’t know you.”
The Walmart corporation issued a statement on the shooting saying,
“We are extremely saddened by this tragic situation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who knew and loved Luis Jhon. He will be greatly missed. Luis was a family man – a devoted husband and father. He was very passionate about his job and was always the one his fellow associates turned to for advice and comfort in tough situations.
“As you might expect, this is a difficult time for our associates. We’re working to have grief counselors on site and available for associates who may need help coping with the situation. We’re also staying in close contact with Luis’ family as they mourn the loss of their loved one.”
Jhon’s son said a viewing will be held Tuesday from 3 to 8 pm at the Kraeer Funeral Home in Coral Springs.