Security Guard at Hollywood Ralphs Fatally Shoots ‘Aggressive’ Woman

Incident is latest example of how grocery workers are dealing with uptick in difficult customers and confrontations
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
Marian Zboraj
Ralphs Hollywood
A Hollywood Ralphs security guard fatally shot a woman who allegedly attacked him with fire extinguisher.

On Aug. 7, a Ralphs security guard in Los Angeles reportedly shot and killed a woman who allegedly struck him with a fire extinguisher.

The Ralphs store, a banner of The Kroger Co., is located on Hollywood Boulevard. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the security guard told police he was in a fight with the woman, who armed herself with a screwdriver and a heavy fire extinguisher. The guard said she made an “aggressive move” toward him. He backed up and fired a single round into her upper body.

[Read more: “Creating an Effective Workplace Violence Plan”]

The guard called for an ambulance and administered first aid. The woman was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The incident is the latest example of hostile customers confronting grocery and retail workers. Evidence can be seen throughout social media, depicting everything from heated conversations to physical violence. 

According to a study of Progressive Grocer readers conducted earlier this year, a whopping 40% of grocery retailers said that theyve had at least one crisis or emergency incident in the past two years. Half of respondents also said that the threat climate in their store(s) is now higher than just five years ago. However, the survey found that nearly half of respondents (48%) said their organization does not have a crisis communications plan currently in place for a range of crisis situations, such as workplace violence.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association and the National District Attorneys Association recently revealed that theyre joining forces to address retail crime and violence through National Store Walk Month. The initiative will be held this September, and invites district attorneys nationwide to walk through retail stores with management teams in an effort to exchange insights, foster understanding and work synergistically to reduce unlawful activity.

Additionally, FMI - the Food Industry Association’s board of directors established the Violence Preparedness Committee last year, which is co-chaired by the chief executives of Kroger and PepsiCo.

Meanwhile, its unclear what led the woman to strike the Ralphs security guard with the fire extinguisher. The shooting is under investigation.

Serving 11 million customers daily through a digital shopping experience and retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company to its Retailers of the Century list.

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