TAMPA, Fla. - At first glance, the security video looks like a routine shopping trip at a Super Target store, but when you look closer you can see Mervin Bettis stashing item after item into a cooler in his shopping cart.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says it happened on May 27, 2011 around 4:15 p.m. at the Target store at 11627 W. Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa.
Detectives say Bettis swiped $1,112.90 worth of merchandise and it was all caught on tape. But Bettis may not have known a member of the store's security team was on to him.
In the video clip, you see a security worker in plain clothes following him out of the store and putting him into a bear hug to try to restrain him and that's when the struggle starts. Moments later, 65-year-old Russell Horner, a uniformed security guard working at the store, runs to the scene to break up the struggle, which lasts for four minutes.
Bettis is eventually handcuffed while shocked customers look on. Many head out of the store's exit doors, turn around, and head back into the store when they see the struggle.
Horner escorts Bettis to the store's security office so law enforcement can be called in and it's during that time that Horner struggles to walk and starts experiencing a shortness of breath, according to investigators.
Horner eventually walks into a room adjacent to the security office to get some latex gloves and he collapses out of the sight of the security camera.
It was seven minutes after the struggle with Bettis started.
Detectives say Horner suffered a heart attack. He was rushed to Town and Country hospital, but he didn't survive.
During the time Horner suffers the heart attack, you see Bettis bucking, squirming, and doing everything he can to try to get out of his handcuffs so he can break free, but it doesn't work. The security worker in plains clothes can be seen running for help when he realizes what's happened to Horner.
Bettis was charged with robbery and battery on a person 65 years and older, but in September 2011 those charges were upgraded to third degree felony murder once Horner's autopsy revealed his heart attack was brought on due to the struggle with Bettis.
Horner was a retired member of law enforcement.