Philadelphia leaders announce renewed focus on shoplifters in wake of deadly Macy's stabbing

Krasner appealed to businesses to report petty crime because it paints a larger picture of repeat offenders

Katherine Scott Image
Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Center City Macy's reopens following deadly stabbing
Center City Macy's reopens following deadly stabbing

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Macy's in Center City Philadelphia reopened Wednesday, just days after two security guards were stabbed, leaving one dead.

Now, there is a renewed focus on shoplifters in Philadelphia in the wake of the deadly stabbing.

District Attorney Larry Krasner joined state and local representatives, including SEPTA and Philadelphia police, a day after a man stopped for shoplifting hats came back 13 minutes later and stabbed two Macy's security guards, killing 27-year-old Eric Harrison.

Eric Harrison

RELATED: Security guard killed at Philadelphia Macy's was an 'innocent soul,' mother says

The other security guard, 23-year-old Christian Mitchell, was slashed while running to Harrison's aid. The suspect, 30-year-old Tyrone Tunnell was taken into custody by SEPTA police after fleeing the scene. He has been charged with murder and related offenses.

Action News was there as SEPTA officers led Tyrone Tunnell away in handcuffs.

Court records show Tunnell has a history of mostly retail theft and drug-related cases in Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware, and Montgomery counties. There was also an active warrant for his arrest in Delaware County.

As for Mitchell, he remains in the hospital in critical but stable condition.

Tuesday, Krasner defended his retail theft policy, which was instituted in 2018, that can leave some offenders with just a summary offense. He discussed the newly formed task force that will focus solely on retail theft.

"Most of what that task force would be doing, would be focusing on prolific retail thieves and also on the fences -- the fences, in other words, those who deal in stolen goods," Krasner said. "We didn't have the internet as a marketplace 20 years ago. It was a different world. We need to adapt."

Krasner and other elected officials appealed to businesses to report petty crime because it paints a larger picture of repeat offenders. They say cracking down on retail theft helps protect the corridors.

"Those businesses who that experienced situations like this one or similar -- I encourage you to reach out and report what is happening," said Philadelphia city councilmember Quetcy Lozada. "It is important to work. It is how we will be able to track incidents and those who are perpetrating, those conducting this type of business and it will be the only way we can create safer neighborhoods."

"I still intend to bring my five children, my wife and neighbors here to shop to make sure they know I believe this city is still safe. And I believe it is," said fellow Philadelphia city councilmember Mike Driscoll.