Victim in brutal Southgate Centre beating dies

Click to play video: 'Victim of violent attack at Southgate Centre dies'
Victim of violent attack at Southgate Centre dies
WATCH ABOVE: A 61-year-old Good Samaritan has died three days after a violent attack at Southgate Centre. – Apr 20, 2018

The man attacked while trying to stop a theft at Southgate Centre in Edmonton on Tuesday has died, family said in a Facebook post on Friday.

“Tragically, due to catastrophic injury, Iain passed away today at about 3 p.m.,” the post from Iain Armstrong’s wife Sharon read. “The entire family has felt covered in prayer throughout this ordeal, and sends their heartfelt thanks.”

WATCH BELOW: A man was badly injured inside Southgate Centre Tuesday morning during business hours. Edmonton police say they are investigating a theft. Sarah Kraus has the details from the scene.

Click to play video: 'Man injured as police investigate theft at Southgate Centre'
Man injured as police investigate theft at Southgate Centre

Police said Armstrong was attacked just before 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning trying to stop a man who had allegedly stolen something off a kiosk at the south Edmonton mall.

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READ MORE: Man in life-threatening condition after violent robbery at Southgate Centre

When the suspect turned to leave, “a pretty serious beating” occurred, Edmonton Police Service (EPS) Insp. Erik Johnson said on Tuesday.

“He was acting like any other shopkeeper would to protect other people’s belongings,” Johnson said. “He was a Good Samaritan who, unfortunately, got severely injured in this case.”

A witness told Global News that security started performing CPR on Armstrong and were able to revive him.

“They brought him back for a split second, but he went back under,” Richard Smith said. “EMS came and they couldn’t bring him back so they took him away.

WATCH BELOW: Police continue their investigation into a shocking crime that left a Good Samaritan in hospital in life-threatening condition. The violent attack took place at Southgate Centre on Tuesday morning. Vinesh Pratap spoke to a witness about what happened.

Click to play video: 'Witness describes violent assault at Southgate Centre as ‘horrifying’'
Witness describes violent assault at Southgate Centre as ‘horrifying’

Johnson confirmed Armstrong would be going into surgery.

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A post on the Facebook page on Tuesday said Armstrong, 61, suffered a broken neck, a traumatic head injury and had brain damage. An MRI on Wednesday showed Armstrong had a “severe spinal cord injury that has resulted in paralysis,” another post said.

Edmonton police confirmed Armstrong died from his injuries on Friday.

READ MORE: Witness describes violent assault at Southgate Centre as ‘horrifying’

Armstrong owned Bunches Flower Co. and was one of four people who started the flower shop in 1991. He was at his store when he witnessed the alleged theft.

Johnson said mall security had provided the EPS with “very good video” of the suspect, described only as a man in his 20s, who got away before police arrived at the mall.

On Friday night, police said homicide detectives had taken over the investigation.

“The male suspect remains at large,” EPS said in a news release. “A description of the male suspect is not being released at this time, while detectives continue to investigate. If and when it is necessary, investigators will not rule out releasing a suspect photo or description.”

Two men – who police said were present for the theft but not involved in the beating – were taken into custody Tuesday morning.

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An autopsy is scheduled for April 24.

– With files from Caley Ramsay and Karen Bartko, Global News

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