A homeless man who died after having a struggle with staff at a Brooklyn Stop & Shop has been identified.
Ralph Nimmons, 51, died Saturday after being accused of stealing food at the supermarket, police say.
Police said they were called to the shop at 1009 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn at about 7:30 a.m.
They said store employees reported that a homeless man, about 50 years old, had been shoplifting and was caught. They got into a "struggle" with the man and he became unconscious.
Police said the employees then flagged down a police officer, and emergency services were called. The man was taken to Kings County Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Authorities are yet to confirm the cause of death.
But a friend of the man is questioning why the staff took matters into their own hands. "They didn’t have to kill him," friend Joanie Smith said. "He was stealing food, he's homeless. He does this all the time."
Smith said she was there when the man she knows as 'Star' died. She said the employees at the Flatbush Avenue Stop & Shop are used to him stealing from the store, but on this day she said they put him "in a chokehold."
Stop & Shop said it was working closely with police to help assist with the investigation. As of Saturday afternoon there were no pending charges.