Los Angeles, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – Two employees and one customer are dead after separate workplace incidents across the country.
In Los Angeles, police are looking for a suspect who killed a furniture store worker.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, a possibly homeless man entered the Croft House on La Brea on Jan. 13, and stabbed Brianna Kupfer, 24, of Pacific Palisades. After the attack, the man fled down the back alley of the store, police said.
Customers found Kupfer in the store dead. Officials said Kupfer was working alone when she was attacked.
Police said they think the attacker did not know Kupfer and just walked into the store. During a press conference on Tuesday, police offered a $50,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the suspect.
In Houston, a Cracker Barrel employee is dead after she thwarted a robbery.
Robin Baucom, 59, the manager of a Cracker Barrel near Houston, Texas was shot when she helped a co-worker who was being robbed as she was entering the restaurant, officials said.
According to police, as an employee was trying to come in to the building, a car pulled up to the entrance and the suspect jumped out. The suspect then tried to steal the employee’s purse.
Baucom, who was inside, sprang into action and tried to open the door to let the co-worker inside. When the suspect followed the employee inside, Baucom tried to push them away. The suspect then shot Baucom in the chest. Baucom was rushed to the hospital where she died.
In a statement, Cracker Barrel said Baucom was killed as “she protected other employees from harm.”
“All of Cracker Barrel is solely focused on supporting our manager’s family, her fellow employees, and local law enforcement as we grapple with this tragedy and grieve,” Cracker Barrel said in its statement.
And in Detroit, an employee was injured and a customer shot after an altercation in a club under a high-end restaurant.
The incident happened at a VIP club called “Cash Only” located in the basement below Prime + Proper, a steakhouse in downtown Detroit.
The club has a “no cell phones, no coats” policy.
According to Detroit police, a patron at the bar was repeatedly asked to take off his coat by a 51-year-old security guard. The patron then allegedly took out a folding-type knife and attacked the guard, shooting him. Another security guard allegedly took out his gun, ordered the person to stop, but when he didn’t, the second security guard shot the patron, killing him. The injured security guard was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
A spokesman for Heirloom Hospitality Group, the owns the restaurant said the company was providing grief counseling for its employees.
“Investigators have confirmed to us that they have all of the information – victim statements, witness statements, surveillance footage from multiple cameras, and more – as it relates to both the attacked – the contracted security officer – and the deceased, who was the aggressor,” the spokesman said in a statement. “Police have turned that information over to the prosecutor’s office for review, and there is no question as to who fired the weapon in self-defense.”
The company said that the well-being of its associates, guests, vendors and community were their priority, and closed the day after the incident.
“We pray for the security officer’s swift and full recovery following this attack,” the company said.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health identified workplace violence as a growing threat to employees.
“Workplace violence is the act or threat of violence, ranging from verbal abuse to physical assaults directed toward persons at work or on duty,” the agency said. “The impact of workplace violence can range from psychological issues to physical injury, or even death. Violence can occur in any workplace and among any type of worker, but the risk for fatal violence is greater for workers in sales, protective services, and transportation, while the risk for nonfatal violence resulting in days away from work is greatest for healthcare and social assistance workers.”
While the agency offers training to reduce workplace violence for nurses, and helpful tips for cab drivers, it doesn’t provide information or directives for retail workers.