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Eric Harrison identified by family as Macy's security guard fatally stabbed in Philadelphia

Suspect in Macy's stabbing in Philadelphia charged with murder, other offenses
Suspect in Macy's stabbing in Philadelphia charged with murder, other offenses 02:11

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The security guard fatally stabbed by an alleged shoplifter at a Macy's in Philadelphia was identified as 27-year-old Eric Harrison, his family told CBS News Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Murder, attempted murder and related charges were approved by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office against 30-year-old Tyrone Tunnell, the suspect in the deadly stabbing. Court records show Tunnell had a history of retail theft, robbery and other drug offenses across the Philadelphia region. He's being held without bail. 

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

The Macy's in Center City remained closed Tuesday after the stabbing that also left a second security guard injured.

Officials said technology and surveillance video played a major role in bringing Tunnell into custody after he fled Macy's by using SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line. 

Police said Tunnell was taken into custody about an hour after the stabbing and the knife allegedly used in the incident was recovered by authorities. 

"Real-time track conditions of the system tracked this offender essentially from the doorstep of Macy's into the 13th Street Station and onto an eastbound train," SEPTA Police Chief Chuck Lawson said. "Look live into the train, we're able to identity the offender in this case sitting on a eastbound train while our individuals organized an arrest and intercepted that individual down the line."

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

DA Larry Krasner announces charges against Tyrone Tunnell in deadly Macy's stabbing in Philadelphia 56:20

"The world changes," Krasner said. "We need to keep up with what technology offers for good and for bad and that is part of the reason that we have sought some funding from city council for a task force in the DA's office that would work heavily and specifically – not only on the prolific retail theft offenders but also on those kind of fences," Krasner said. 

Philadelphia Police claim that Macy's in the 1300 block of Market Street has had more than 250 reports of retail theft in 2023. The most recent incident turned deadly while shoppers were inside.

"All of a sudden, the guy came on the thing and said 'Get out,'" Denise Shaw, who was shopping inside Monday, said.

Before the stabbing, police said security guards stopped Tunnell from shoplifting hats at around 10:45 a.m. Monday. Tunnell left the store and returned 15 minutes later with a knife in hand, according to police.

"He runs directly to that security guard with a knife already exposed and begins to stab him," Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford said. "There's a scuffle with the second security guard trying to save the first guard that was stabbed, and that security guard suffered several stab wounds as well."

Police allege Tunnell stabbed Harrison in the neck and another 23-year-old guard in the face and arm. Harrison later died at Jefferson University Hospital, and the 23-year-old is in stable condition. 

The second security guard has yet to be identified.

In a statement to CBS News Philadelphia, Macy's said, "We are heartbroken about the incident." Macy's added, "Ensuring the safety and well-being of our customers and colleagues is always our top priority."

The department store remained closed on Tuesday during what's typically the busiest and most joyful time of the year.

The Center City Macy's is expected to reopen Wednesday.

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