HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - You may have seen the social media video depicting a fight between Belk loss prevention officers and shoplifters outside of Madison Square Mall.
The store employees were since fired and say they were simply doing their job.
The video of the confrontation between shoplifters and Belk loss prevention is popular on the web...but it's not so popular for the man depicted in the blue shirt, Tim McCory, who has since been fired, a struggle for a father of four.
"I was the only income. I have all these people depending on me. I would go back to work today because I know I didn't do anything wrong." McCory was the loss prevention manager for the store for three years, commuting from Guntersville. He says he was fired one week after the incident without warning, and that he did what he does every day.
"We handled the situation fairly based on all the facts," said a statement from Belk's corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. McCory was told that he violated company policies on safety, sensible pursuit, and use of force -- but he says he was fired over bad press.
"I still don't believe that makes it against company policy," said McCory, who was recently given a raise for good performance. "Just because it was caught on video, I was still acting within company policy and the law."
Belk said publicity played no role. "Our response had nothing to do with the fact that the video went viral." McCory has now applied for food stamps and filed for unemployment to continue to provide for his family.
"It's devastating," said McCory, "I'm trying to get help and seek assistance from different places but it's just not fast enough." The male customer in the viral video has been arrested for robbery.