Police said man took knife from home improvement store, fatally stabbed himself running away

Posted at 1:02 PM, May 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-07 13:02:22-04

A man who police said accidentally fatally stabbed himself near a Lowe's Home Improvement Store in Plant City Friday has been identified as a Lakeland man. 

Jerry Ellis Word, 53, of Lakeland died after he sustained what Plant City police said they believed to be a self-inflicted blade wound to the upper body, the Plant City Police Department said. 

Plant City police provided the following information:

About 6:40 p.m. Friday a man entered the Lowe's Home Improvement Store at 2801 James L. Redman Parkway in Plant City and removed a knife from its packaging and concealed it on his body.

The man attempted to leave the store without paying for the item. When he was approached by the store's loss prevention employees, the man pulled out the knife in a threatening manner and ran out the store.

He ran toward the Parks Springs Apartment complex at 300 Park Springs Circle. 

Police said while fleeing with the knife, it is believed the suspect impaled himself in an unknown manner with the knife. After doing so, the suspect continued to fle for a short distance before collapsing behind a building of the apartment complex. 

The man was taken to South Florida Baptist Hospital, wher he died of his injuries. 

An investigation is underway. 

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact the Plant City Police Department at (813) 757-9200.