An 83-year-old Home Depot employee died Thursday at a North Carolina hospital after reportedly being pushed by an alleged shoplifter six weeks prior.
Gary Rasor was allegedly assaulted at the Home Depot store in Hillsborough on October 18 when he attempted to confront a man accused of stealing several pressure washers while on his way out the door. Security camera footage caught the moment Rasor was shoved to the ground as the unknown individual walked out the garden center door.
Rasor suffered several fractured bones, and he was in the hospital for weeks and unable to walk. His condition worsened after he viewed footage of the incident for the first time, according to his wife.
“What hurts me the most is Gary was fine. He was not upset. He was upbeat until he saw the video and he lost it,” Yovone Rasor told WRAL. “It was a trauma; That’s what the doctors have already said, the trauma caused the acceleration of fibrosis.”
Rasor ultimately died due to the complications of his injuries, according to police.
“It’s just beyond our comprehension that someone would do this for a couple of power washers … that just is mind-boggling,” Gary’s son, Jeff Rasor, told Fox 8.
Rasor was well-liked among customers and was often referred to as “Mr. Gary,” according to WRAL. The family noted the home improvement store has been “very supportive” of the family since the assault.
Police say Rasor’s death has “rejuvenated” efforts to find the offender and noted they are now treating the case as a possible homicide.
The suspect was last seen fleeing the store in a white, four-door Hyundai Sonata with a temporary North Carolina license tag that was obscured to witnesses. Hillsborough authorities are asking for the public’s help in finding the alleged offender.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.