Police said that the attack took place at 10.40am EST on Monday when a man allegedly tried to steal hats from the Center City store.
Officials said that the security guard confronted the man, “backs off, gets the merchandise back, allows the male to go on.”
But the suspect returned 15 minutes later and is accused of attacking the two security guards with a knife, say police, reported news station WPVI.
Both victims were taken to hospital by police, where one of them was pronounced dead at 11.19am EST.
The suspect fled from the scene on the city’s SEPTA system, and dropped a knife, police said.
He was taken into custody at the Somerset station at around 12pm EST and has been positively identified by witnesses, Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford told reporters.
“Just a tragic situation, a few weeks before the holiday, these security officers are just doing their job, they’re here to make sure that people can come to this location and shop in a safe manner,” Commissioner Stanford said.
Police said that the guard killed was 30 years old and suffered a stab wound to the neck. The other victim is 23 years old and suffered wounds to his face and left arm. He remains in hospital in stable condition.
Neither of the security guards, one who had worked there several years and the other just a few months, has been identified.
Commissioner Stanford told reporters that the Macy’s store has filed more than 250 reports of retail theft in 2023.
“We are heartbroken about the incident that took place today at Macy’s Center City,” Macy’s said in a statement.
“The store will temporarily remain closed as we work with law enforcement on this investigation and defer any further comments about the case to them. Ensuring the safety and well-being of our customers and colleagues is always our top priority.”