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Macy's in Philadelphia reopens 2 days after deadly stabbing

Traditions resume at Macy's in Philadelphia two days after fatal stabbing
Traditions resume at Macy's in Philadelphia two days after fatal stabbing 02:12

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Macy's on 13th and Market Street in Center City reopened Wednesday two days after closing following the stabbing of two security guards. One of those guards, 27-year-old, Eric Harrison, died from his injuries.

The other guard, Christian Mitchell, remains in the hospital but is expected to recover.

Tyrone Tunnell, 30, was arrested about an hour after the incident Monday and faces multiple charges, including murder.

Police claim Tunnell was allowed to leave after allegedly attempting to shoplift hats and then returned to Macy's minutes later Monday and stabbed Harrison and Mitchell.

Harrison died at the hospital. Tunnell is being held without bail.

Harrison's family said he was working two jobs to save up for a house.

RELATED: Macy's security guard killed in Philadelphia stabbing remembered as hardworking, beloved nephew by aunt

"We let you go. Gave you a pass. And you came back? And then come to find out I heard that my nephew wasn't even the one who stopped him," Tyree Harrison-Harvey, Harrison's aunt, said. "It was someone else and then you stabbed my nephew."

"I just want the thieves to think about not just you stealing and coming, robbing somewhere or stealing merchandise, you're robbing people's lives," she added. "You're robbing the family."

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said his office is asking the city for additional funding for a task force specifically looking at retail theft and sellers of stolen merchandise to prevent future tragedies.

"Somber mood inside"

Macy's employees unlocked the front doors at 11 a.m. Wednesday and invited shoppers back inside the popular department store. A line of shoppers waited outside, and some said they had reservations after what happened but were met with additional security.

Michael Handler is visiting the city from Santa Fe, New Mexico, but he heard what happened inside Monday morning.

"I think it shouldn't have happened," Handler said. "I know the guys were doing their job. It was a somber mood inside and enhanced security."

Macy's declined an interview but tells CBS News Philadelphia an elevated number of uniformed officers have been assigned to the store after the deadly stabbing.

"Young man taken for no reason," a shopper named Jack said. "It's very sad."

"It's a shame what happened and feel bad for everybody," Ron Forster said. "We did give some thought to not coming down."

Macy's elaborate window displays and popular holiday light show is a more than 10-year tradition for Forster and his family.

They still wanted to come but couldn't help but notice a message on the sidewalk that said "RIP Eric. We all love you."

"We think about it," Patricia Forster said. "We just try to stay safe and just kind of be aware of our surroundings, but it does cross your mind."

Families, shoppers return to Macy's in Philadelphia after deadly stabbing 02:28

"You have to be aware, you have to be diligent," Eli Jules said.

Jules was behind the counter at The Truffleist, a small shop set up inside Christmas Village in Love Park. He said retail theft is part of the cost of doing business in Philadelphia.

"That is always going to be a thing and something to expect. It is the holiday market it gets really crowded and it's tough to manage the crowd," he said.

According to Philadelphia Police, retail theft has been on the rise.

There were more than 9,300 incidents citywide in 2021, more than 14,000 in 2022 and so far this year the city has reported 16,891 incidents.

"We have to do better," said city councilmember Curtis Jones, whose district sits where the Macy's is located. "It is impacting our commerce in the city of Philadelphia."

Jones said he met with Philadelphia Mayor-Elect Cherelle Parker Tuesday to talk about solutions to curb retail theft and presented her with 35 recommendations from a recent crime summit.

"When she hires the chief public safety officer that will be their ruling guide to begin the journey of making Philadelphia a cleaner, greener, safer city," Jones said.

Macy's closed Tuesday and the store said counselors are now being made available all week for staff members.

"They can't really talk about the event," Handler said, "but they did say they're from other Macy's to support the staff here and bolster security."

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