Update: Antioch Police Say Autopsy in Lucky’s Death Show Man Died From Underlying Issues of Drug Use

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Photo by Bay News Video

On Friday, the Antioch Police issued an updated to the death of 34-year-old Michael Hamilton who died after a struggle with a Lucky’s employee.

At approximately 10:00 pm Wednesday, Contra Costa County Firefighters and Antioch Police responded to a report of a male who had been choked out by an employee at Lucky’s Grocery Store on Contra Loma Blvd. The male was not breathing at the time of dispatch. He later died at the scene.

According to Antioch Police Lt. Joe Donleavy, he confirmed a physical occurred inside the store related to shoplifting where officers arrived on scene with a subject unconscious and without a pulse.  They were still gathering information on the incident.

No other information was provided.

Friday UPDATE

On June 26th, 2020, an autopsy was performed on 34-year-old Michael Hamilton by the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office. The autopsy revealed there was no trauma to Mr. Hamilton’s neck, indicating there was no use of a chokehold, carotid or any other pressure applied to Mr. Hamilton’s neck.

Mr. Hamilton died from underlying issues of drug use and the excitement of the struggle he was involved in during this incident.

A preliminary drug screening showed Mr. Hamilton had methamphetamine in his system, but the amount is unknown until a full toxicology report can be completed. The 56-year-old store employee was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital on the night of this incident

Original Antioch Police Press Release:

On June 24th, 2020, at around 9:58PM, Antioch Patrol Officers and ConFire were dispatched to the Lucky’s grocery store located at 3190 Contra Loma Boulevard, for a male who was not breathing after getting into a physical confrontation with a store employee.

It was determined that a 56-year-old store employee caught a 34-year-old male (Antioch resident) attempting to steal meat from behind the butcher shop area of the store. The store employee confronted the 34-year-old male and according to the employee the male attacked him.

During the physical confrontation the 34-year-old male stopped breathing for an unknown reason. ConFire attempted life saving measures on the 34-year-old male, but were unsuccessful and the male was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The 56-year-old male was transported to a local hospital to be treated for injuries sustained during the physical confrontation and is currently in stable condition. At this point of the investigation it is not clear whether the 34-year-old male died due to the physical confrontation or if he had a medical emergency that caused his death.

The cause of death will hopefully be determined at the autopsy and through interviews. No further information will be released until a cause of death is established.

Anyone with information regarding this case can contact Detective Coxat 925-779-6866. Any further information or additional press releases will be provided by the Investigations Bureau.You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH

61 COMMENTS

  1. Sad. I shop at that store and saw someone stealing chicken last time I shopped there at night. Thought it sad people have to steal food to eat and felt bad for the employees who have to deal with it because it is a safety issue. Lot of very nice people work at that Lucky’s. Sorry this happened. That was strange to go behind the meat counter.

    • The theft of that chicken was not necessary done because the guy had nothing else to eat. He could have picked up a can of beef or chicken stew or a large can of tuna for much less and paid for it.

      • when some one is on the lowest of low and down on there luck which I can tell has never happened to you at this person’s level. Let him have a little joy of havein that rotisserie chicken theft is never okay. But how often have you gone out and fed the homeless? do u realise that no one would hire these people not because it’s there fault it’s there parents fault you know.. Not everybody is as fortunate. These homeless people are out there because of bad parenting and circumstances and to the lady who seen him steal the chicken why didn’t you offer to cover the cost? Do you people know that grocery store Mark ups are at minimum of 120 percent?? The store knows how much they expect to lose believe me they do there homework before opening up a store in any town ok?? Now if it’s hate in your hearts and your nose so high I mean wake up people from what It sounds like it seems you want to fire up the gas chambers and throw the weak handicapped and mentally ill in the fire. A young man was murderd folks in your small community for some meat. Don’t touch or confront anyone stealing. It’s never okay to steal but is it ever okay to murder?? And Don’t tell me the man did it in self defense. Most theft of food is to grab and go not end up with out a pulse on the ground. Keep up the Good work Mira Vista don’t forget the two churches around the corner. Or maybe you all just attend for show . Can we pray on this whole situation and ask for clarity?

        • Hey Nicholas! Is ENGLISH your second language? Do you know the difference between the word “there” and “they’re?” “There” refers to direction. “They’re” is a contraction of “they are.” Do you see the difference?

          Yes, I’ve purchased food for the homeless more times than I can remember. I also paid for their medication and I don’t mean illegal drugs. I’ve offered to drive many homeless to facilities where they could get some help: food, health care (medical and dental), clean new clothing, facilities to do laundry, showers, food for their animal, housing, counseling, work. Some took advantage of it while others did not. They said they prefer the freedom of living outside.

        • Oh brother…..
          Of course the money these homeless degenerates get from your tax dollars never go for food. Stealing food from behind the counter means he was tired of eating the slop you liberals feed him every day.
          Someone give that employees a raise or medal.

        • First of all, Nicholas……F that guy! There is no level of sympathy for him or anyone else who feels justified in getting physical with another person when he gets caught stealing. Get caught? Just say sorry. Put it down and walk the F away. As for how often anyone feeds the homeless, or having sympathy for the homeless….great. I do. There but for the grace of God, and all that. But this guy was simply a nothing meth head! My sympathy lies with the employee who had to deal with him.

  2. Too bad the guy died but it’s about time someone takes a stand. Lucky’s store should support the grocery clerk. Law and order all the time.

    • I agree with you. I’m so tired of these people ripping off stores with whole shipping carts full and just walking out the door. We are the ones that end up paying for the stuff they steal because the prices go up. Luckys better stand by their employees that try to stop these low life’s. I’m sure he didn’t throw the first punch and the thief probably thought since the employee was an older gentleman he could take him down. What a big surprise! Thank you to that store clerk for your bravery. I will boycott luckys if they don’t stand by you!

      • I’ve seen people walk out of Lowe’s or Home Depot with items without paying for them while the cashiers just stand there! The cost of that is passed on to the honest consumer. These jerks should be stopped by the stores’ security people, which should be armed!

        I LUCKY’s doesn’t side with their employee, I have no intention of shopping there any longer. The thief learned that you don’t muck around with a butcher who has knives, cleavers, sharp objects at his disposal.

      • What ever happened to ‘eye for an eye’ ?!? Punishment should fit the crime. To say that death is the appropriate response goes against the moral code of all religions and the laws of this country. The employee wasn’t a cop, he needed to let law enforcement deal with this. I’m sure law enforcement would have prefer to deal with a misdemeanor rather than show up to a dead body. This makes the job of the cops even harder… now they have to deal with this rather than deal with all the other stuff that is happening in their community.

        • Vanessa! BUY A BRAIN! If you remind someone they are not allowed to be in a certain area of a store and they ATTACK YOU, what do you do? Let them continue? I doubt it.

        • Vanessa, you are reading in “facts” that aren’t in the press reports. No one claimed that “death is the appropriate response.” It was, in this case, the unfortunate outcome. No one who wasn’t an eyewitness can know the circumstances of the physical altercation and who was primarily the cause of it.

      • Trust Me Sweetheart Luckys will not stand By a strong Armed Bully!! Luckys do not pay enough hourly for me to KILL someone.

    • You are stupid if you think he took a stand for a fucking company who can give two fucks about him !!!! taking a stand would be collecting your fucking check and going home To your family and Minding your fucking business ! Law and order get the fuck outta here that’s the problem with this world muthafuckas always taking on job descriptions that don’t have shit to do with them.

  3. Lucky’s will be writing a fat $check$ for wrongful death. It sounds like the shoplifter never left the store. All retail businesses never support their employees when it comes to shoplifting. Shoplifters must leave/exit the store first without paying before it’s considered shoplifting. Because it’s not worth it period on both ends. Waiting to hear that the guy was changing his life around and was an aspiring rapper, etc.

    • Wrong if the scum attacked the employee they are allowed to defend themselves that piece of shit got what he deserved probably drugged out another piece of shit off the streets

    • If you read it says the male attacked the employee. The employee can approach you and ask if you plan on paying for those items. If they want to detain you they have to wait until you exit or show no intent on paying. Why don’t you put up your real name and address with your racist ass comments. You are a piece of shit!!

    • That’s the problem. Scum is allowed to steal items and then the cost is passed onto the rest of us. One would be a total idiot to steal something from a butcher knowing all the KNIVES they possess.

      There are security cameras all over that store. I would venture that the thief was stuffing his clothes full of packages of meat and was confronted.

    • Fat check or no fat check. The main thing is that another thief will not be pulling a stunt like that. Maybe world will get around.

  4. Good riddance, need to get rid of these thieves who think they can get away with everything. Great job employee for getting scum off out street.

    • This is no different than the officer who killed George Floyd-it is not the employees job to secure the store-I’ll make one guess and say he was white-because a black man could not have aided in killing a alleged shoplifters and getting away with it. The shoplifter was black or maybe not- so it must be okay! If he was stealing meat, smoking drugs or whatever he didn’t deserve to die-what happened to innocent until proven guilty? He’s dead! He can’t speak for or defend himself because this vigilante killed him over a $12 pack of meat-not because he felt threatened because he could! These are the same folks in the sheets shouting black lives matter but actions speak so much louder than your words! There are 2 America’s a white and a black one-black people like me eat the failure everybody else eats the fruit-because my people were chattel slaves and built this country with free labor. Somehow we’ve made the employee out to be some type of avenging angel-he’s not! I say Boycott Lucky’s if this is how they’re employees respond to what clearly is an ongoing issue that should be dealt with in a humane way! That’s was somebodies brother, father, nephew, uncle, son-and we’d all better figure this out or we’ll be killing all the people who can’t afford food, who have no place to stay and are hungry! Next it could be you-COVID-19 is gonna make believers out of us ALL!

      • Who’s the racist?
        Funny, nothing in the article said anything about race.
        The guy died because he was a chronic meth user. Read the whole article. The autopsy said there were no injuries to his neck. No indication of any pressure applied to his trachea, carotid artery or jugular vein.
        I’m sick of people trying to excuse bad behavior. Funny, if he wasn’t breaking the law there never would have been a confrontation in the first place. And if he wasn’t on meth, he would still be alive.
        Since when has personal responsibility become bad? The guy was where he wasn’t supposed to be. Yes, it is the clerk’s responsibility to make sure unauthorized people aren’t where they shouldn’t be. It’s a safety issue. Having been a meat cutter, those places are dangerous. Someone “slipped” and sues. That costs the company money. Let me clue you in on a big secret. Luckys doesn’t pay for those lawsuits. Or, the inevitable suit that will be brought by the family of this dead man. Every penny that gets paid out comes straight out of OUR pockets.
        So t Luckys employee did his job, and was attacked. Nowhere in this country is self defence wrong.
        It’s sad the guy ended up dead, but he made a lot of bad decisions that led him to his demise. No one held a gun to his head and said go rob Luckys. No, he had a drug habit. He wasn’t stealing for food. He wanted more crank. If he wasn’t dead he’d be in jail.
        But no, lets call him victim instead of perpetrator. Lets call the guy who just wanted to go home the villain. Ignore the fact that he was an addict. Forget that he was breaking the law.
        Oh yeah, don’t forget to turn a blind eye to the fact that he attacked the employee.

  5. u people keep saying he is a scum bag it dont matter maybe your mother is a scum bag thats probably the way you raise your ass he didn’t have to pull a George on him dum ASS the man was probably hungry turn your head on sertain thing because they could fire your ass tomorrow they dont give afuck aboiut u

  6. Dude should have let him go now he’s in a lot of trouble, and Lucky is in trouble also, some people r going to make a lot of money

    • Who’s going to make a lot of money? I hope it’s the employee if Safeway is stupid enough to fire him. You find someone who is not an employee in an area marked EMPLOYEES ONLY and you ask him what he’s doing there and he attacks you? How do you “let him go?”

  7. After reading the official police report there was no reference to be choked out. So why is being choked in the headline? Just saying.

  8. This has got to stop. The people that shop lift are not getting it for their starving kids. They are a team called boosters they go in as 2 or more 1-2 distracts workers others shop lift as much as they can. They then take the items that were ordered by people who pay these boosters. To shoplift for them. How do I know this lets just say I have had someone come to my door asking if I wanted steak, chicken or anything else from the store. They then charge the recipient like half of the cost then they have $$$ for drugs and alcohol. Stealing to feed your family is ridiculous with all the food banks, the schools giving meals for the kids. There is no excuse to steal. These food banks are scattered throughout the week almost 1 everyday.

  9. I worked at Safeway in Danville, this guy shoplifted booze from us at least twice a week. I caught him st the door and took him down. Safeway fired me after a two week investigation, and the union didn’t back me either.

    • If I received a notice from an employer that I was fired after keeping someone from robbing them which would have ended up causing the public to have to pay higher prices, I would immediately hire a law firm and demand a jury trial. Juries consist of people who buy food and are most probably not that happy to pay higher prices. I hope I would be picked for such a jury.

  10. To all those who have never experienced hunger, homelessness, drug addiction, or just plain despair, know nothing about this man. There are rules, applied for employees, on how to deal with shoplifting, and putting your hands on them is not allowed. Stop your cruel judgment, because we are all one paycheck or pandemic away from doing things, we never dreamed we would do.

    • Hey, MARY WALKER! What if the employee caught the guy in an area behind the meat counter which is for EMPLOYEES ONLY and asked him to leave and the guy ATTACKED the employee? Is the employee supposed to just STAND THERE LOOKING CUTE? Buy a brain, Mary Walker! And we are NOT all living paycheck-to-paycheck! Where did you come up with that? Well, maybe YOU are. You should have stayed in school and learned a marketable SKILL or you could move to a state which doesn’t have such a high cost of living! My lord!

  11. Wow. These assumptions and judgmental comments are disturbing. It’s one thing to allow justice to be served by what could have been the suspect’s arrest, but to glory in his death? Just not right. We don’t know if this was accidental, self-defense, or what. Come on, humans, we can do better than this!! #ThatIsAll

  12. This morning I got the phone call about my cousin. My cousin who was shoplifting and died. As I sit here and read the comments, I can’t help but agree with a lot of you. I understand who my cousin was as a person. I was the closest one to him. He has a great family who tried to help in any way possible for many many years and unfortunately he didn’t want our help. It doesn’t mean we stopped trying or stopped loving him. I do not agree with his life decisions, but I still loved him. I want to make one thing clear, WE DO NOT blame the employee what so ever. The employee was doing the right thing. My family and I wish the employee well and hope he recovers soon. I also do not think that the employee had anything to do with his death. I believe it was underlining issues that caused this. I just want you all to realize that even though he did what he did, he still has a family grieving his death.

  13. Mary. Read the report. This scumbag attacked the employee. Also, NO excuse to steal. All the welfare handed out in this country is a joke! Feel so sorry for the Lucky’s employee, thank goodness he could fight back.

  14. This has nothing to do with hunger. This has to do with defending yourself. If you are attacked and you have that person held down would you let them up fearing they may attack you again.??? Quit trying to make more of it than what it is. If you have NEVER been in a situation as this maybe you should keep your coments to yourself. The Man should nit have been steeling in the first place. Period no excuse at all. Unfortunately he list his life he should have just left instead of attacking don’t you think? DUH. I would have dine the same thing as this worker if someone attacked me. It’s me or him. Do not judge.

  15. Yes I agree we could all be in bad situation and do things we never thought we would do.
    I don’t excuse what he did.
    But we can’t judge unless we judge ourselves first.

  16. If I worked at Luckys I would
    Not be fighting a customer over items in a Store I don’t own!!! People need to stay in their lane!! Security was not in this guys Job Description.

    • So? According to Susie White, the employee who was attacked should have just taken it? Next time someone attacks you, Susie, just stand there or lie on the floor and let them pummel you into oblivion!

  17. Only someone totally dumb would go into an area where butchers cut up the meat using sharp knives and cleavers and try to steal something.

  18. I was a butcher/meat manager for Luckys for many years. I managed all the Luckys meat dept in the area. I met my wife at the old Somerville Luckys now 99 cent store. Every day people would steal meat there. On Saturday evenings 2 black males would walk in with large black duffle bags and fill them completely with steaks and walk right past the check stands and out the door. Clerks would fear their lives so would not say anything. That store closed down like all the surrounding stores from massive theft. I am sure these thefts were not out of hunger they were for drug transaction. Today my wife works at the Hillcrest Safeway where the same theft for the same reason has never stopped. Our town is plaqued with this problem. Now whoever this guy is that stood up to the poison will live a damaged life.

  19. I had a case where the D.A. charged a felony for stealing a bag of potato chips from Walgreens. I asked Judge Burgess if she thought this was a good use of court resources.

  20. No one in Contra County should be going hungry! no one! I have seen and learned all about the places that disperse food around here. The problem started with the 34 yr. old who thought he could go in and take some more meat and steal whatever else he wanted. Believe me, this wasn’t his first time. I totally agree with Daisy. This stuff has been going on since I worked grocery some 30 years ago.. I spent 28 years in a grocery store and these people did it then.. Selling the higher items to buy drugs, alcohol, etc. When food stamps were the “paper” money they sold those too. Sadly, now the employee gets fired, faces charges, and Lucky’s gets sued. The shoplifter bit off more than he could “chew” (no pun intended) More lives ruined for another criminal…. who thinks it’s ok to steal. I’m sure the employee didn’t intend on killing the dude. I feel so sad for him and his family.

  21. Former employee for the people who are defending shoplifters yeah I don’t know what we have to go through to we have to defend ourselves we have to deal with shoplifters almost everyday people with knives come jump people throw things and everything we go through a lot too and some people say people still for day kids or whatever but sometimes they don’t we as parents that work in the store we have kids to go home to and we have to worry about if we stop this shoplyfter with this person shoot me are stab me you know I mean I don’t prevent nobody to die but he didn’t die of no choke hold it was a drug that he took and I bet if you get hired I was I’m talking to the ones that is going against lucky employee that was defending himself you work there for a week you probably will not make it for a week because all the shoplifters and you probably get into a fight people word for Lucky’s or probably any grocery store get spit on please get hit in the eye with food almost getting stabbed and God forbid somebody come up there with a gun and then what y’all still going to say always still employees fault no cuz we have kids to go home to as well we have a family too like I said I don’t want anyone to die but this situation has happened because coming up to someone that didn’t supposed to be in the store and behind the meat counter so when he was approached the guy got mad and attacked the employee cuz if it was me I’m going to do anything as possible to protect myself my life so I can get back to my kids and that’s for any and everybody that is apparent a grandparent Auntie or whatever so what if it was the other way around what is the guy would have took a knife or a blade or anything to kill the employee then what would you say cuz I’m not going to lie if I feel like my life is in danger I’m going to get you before you get me

  22. To Breanna Washabaugh, my heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to you and your family…..
    To all of the readers, I am also a employee of Lucky’s/Savemart, and if anyone thinks for one minute they are going to back up their employee, Surprise!!, They won’t!! I was attacked at my store minding my own business and was blindsided by a lil punk never seen it coming, and what I was told was, there could of been something else you could of done….wtf?? Like I antaginize a situation or asked to be physically assaulted…Never are you ok? Is there something we can do for you,. That’s non-existent…Check it out….if shoplifter take from the store their insurance covers all their losses so in reality they dont lose anything…if employees try to stop them and get hurt doing so….emoyee is most likely going to get in trouble or lose their job…it sucks but when in grocery business you stand alone don’t think they have your back not even for a second, If you don’t protect yourself no one else will especially them, sad but true..

    • This is the very reason I don’t shop at large supermarkets like Lucky’ or Raley’s or Safeway — instead, I do my shopping at small mom-and-pop stores which have everything I need and offer personal service. I also want to keep them in business. I also noticed that more and more people shop there, too.

  23. There are people who really are lost and don’t want to be found nor helped and all they do is cause problems, so it’s best that they eliminate themselves one-way-or-another.

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