POSTED: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 11:41am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:26pm
Kmart employee killed trying to apprehend shoplifting suspects...
A man and a woman were arraigned on homicide and robbery charges Friday afternoon after police said the pair killed a Kmart loss prevention officer for trying to confront them about shoplifting.
Police said Samantha Lorraine Lomasney, 20, of Pontiac, and James Dean Woodworth, 39, of Pontiac, were in a SUV when Lomasney fatally struck Greg Paul Wainio, 36, of Gaines, Thursday with her vehicle in a Waterford Kmart parking lot.
Woodworth and Lomasney were both charged with one count of unarmed robbery and one count of homicide. Lomasney, who police said was the driver, was also charged with driving with a revoked license and causing death.
The two were arraigned in 51st District Court. Both were denied bond.
Police said that the incident began at about 2:20 p.m. Thursday. Police said Wainio suspected Woodworth of shoplifting from the store, located at 3541 Highland Road in Waterford.
When Woodworth left the store, Lomasney was waiting for him inside a red GMC Jimmy, according to police.
Wainio attempted to stop him and that's when police said Lomasney pressed on the gas pedal.
"The loss prevention officer got tangled in the car somehow. We're not for sure and as the suspects drove away, they struck a pole. They (then) struck another pole, which dislodged the victim," said Waterford Township Police Chief Daniel McCaw.
Police said Wainio was dragged more than 100 feet.
Wainio's brother, John Wainio said he's not surprised that his brother, who has had a long career in corrections, would act so heroically.
"In his mind, he took an oath to protect the property in which he was responsible for. I don’t fault him for that," said John Wainio.
Woodworth allegedly stole $400 in CDs.
"This is such a sad and tragic story where someone has lost their life over $400 in CDs. A life is definitely worth more than $400 in CDs," said McCaw.
Police said a plain-clothes officer witnessed the hit-and-run murder and followed the Jimmy to a house in Pontiac where they called police.
"She basically walked out and told me that she was the driver of the red Jimmy and that the CDs were in the back of the vehicle," said Pontiac Police officer Andre Siner.
Both defendants will be back in court on Jan. 20 for a preliminary exam.
John Wainio said he will forever remember his brother -- a father to twin 8-year-old boys -- as a caring man.
"It's crazy, I mean he would do whatever he had to do to help somebody, to keep somebody safe. To help somebody down on their luck, whatever it took, he would do," said John Wainio.
The family is in the process of making funeral arrangements and setting up a fund to help pay for it.
Also, local Kmart stores are accepting donations. Sears Holding, the owner of Kmart released a statement, "We are deeply saddened by the loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family."
If you want to help Wainio's family, you can donate money at the the checkout register at 38 Metro Detroit Kmart stores. The victim leaves behind a wife and his two sons.