‘He went down a hero:’ Man fatally shot in front of loved ones at Walmart in Lauderdale Lakes

LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. – The family of 41-year-old Thierry Bastien shared his final moments before he was shot to death in front of them at a Walmart in Lauderdale Lakes on Tuesday.

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies said 22-year-old Tironie Shavar Sterling was arrested Tuesday evening after shooting a man multiple times that attempted to break up a physical altercation between Sterling and female employee.

“It’s the sounds that plays back in your head. It’s the whole scene that plays back in your head,” said Makia Ford, Bastien’s girlfriend.

Ford told Local 10 News that her life was changed forever as she watched her boyfriend and father of her infant child (Bastien) get shot six times.

Police said upon arrival, they found Bastien lying unresponsive near the frozen food section of the store with multiple gunshot wounds to his chest, back and lower extremities.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue officials confirmed the victim was airlifted to Broward Health Medical Center with multiple gunshot wounds. He would later die at the hospital.

“In front of the baby, in front of the kids and in front of me,” she said. “That’s something I’m never, ever going to get over for the rest of my life.”

According to an arrest report, Sterling demanded to look at the woman’s cellphone in order to view text messages, and when she refused to give it to him, he began to forcefully grab her body and shove her into the shelves.

The victim was overheard screaming for help and alerted several Walmart employees of the situation and all refused to help, the report stated.

Ford said she and Bastien witnessed the man beating up a woman inside the Walmart and after no one showed up to help, Bastien came to her aid.

“He threw her down and started punching her is when he ran off to help her. I pulled him back and I told him ‘Don’t go’ (and) he said he’s going to help.”' Ford said.

According to investigators, Sterling, a Walmart employee who was not working, tussled with Bastien before shooting him multiple times with his gun.

Ford said she pleaded with Sterling to spare her boyfriend’s life while holding her child after the first shot was made.

“I had the baby in my hand (and) I was like ‘no, please, even if it’s for the baby,’ and he stood over him and shot him,”' she said.

Detectives said they arrest Sterling at his apartment where he directed them to a grocery bag in his room that had a disassembled semi-automatic handgun.

After searching Sterling’s apartment, police found ten 9-millimeter bullet casings, two projectiles and two projectile fragments, according to the arrest report.

Sterling appeared in bond court Wednesday where he was denied bond.

Despite the ruling, Ford says it won’t bring the love of her life back who she says was not only a hero but also an amazing father.

“He was all about his family, working and taking care of his family, and you just took that away from us and that’s not fair,” she said. “He will never be able to see him walk (and) he will never be able to see his first day of school.”

Ford said Bastien will always be remembered for his heart and putting others first.

“Having the big heart that he had, he went down a hero. It’s sad,” she said. “It’s not fair to the kids and it’s not fair to me.”

Bastien’s loved ones created a GoFundMe page where donations will go towards his funeral expenses. To view the page, click here.

About the Authors:

Sanela Sabovic joined Local 10 News in September 2012 as an assignment editor and associate producer. In August 2015, she became a full-time reporter and fill-in traffic reporter. Sanela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film from DePaul University.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.