Spencer Feuerstein: Family mourns store manager, 31, who died trying to stop reckless driver doing donuts

The underage driver was doing donuts in the parking lot at Sprouts, located at 4310 Lavista Road in DeKalb County, on November 9

Spencer Feuerstein: Family mourns store manager, 31, who died trying to stop reckless driver doing donuts
A reckless driver hit 31-year-old James Spencer Feuerstein (inset) before fleeing a parking lot in DeKalb County (YouTube/Fox 5, Dignity Memorial)
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DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA: A store employee has died after allegedly trying to stop a reckless driver. Police later revealed that the driver is a minor. 

The driver, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was doing donuts in the parking lot at Sprouts, located at 4310 Lavista Road in DeKalb County, on November 9 when he was confronted by a Hollywood Feed store employee. The juvenile driver attempted to leave the area but hit 31-year-old James Spencer Feuerstein before fleeing the scene. Police said the employee was rushed to an area hospital but succumbed to his injuries on Thursday, November 10.

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“I don’t know exactly what happened,” the victim's devastated father told WSB-TV. DeKalb County police said Feuerstein was a manager at the Hollywood Feed store in Tucker, where he noticed a driver doing donuts in the store parking lot. The employee went outside to try to stop the driver from endangering others' lives. “[To] keep this boy from hurting anybody and probably went out there to keep him from going to jail too,” Feuerstein’s father said.

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The police report states that the driver hit Feuerstein and drove away. The perp was found a short time later and brought into custody. "Diligent work by our Traffic Specialist Unit led to the identification and location of the suspect vehicle," DeKalb Police said in a statement. They said they found the driver was wearing the same clothes from the alleged hit-and-run and was arrested without incident. The suspect is now being charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving along with hit-and-run. Police confirmed they couldn't release the name and age of the driver due to his minor status. 

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"We are heartbroken over the loss of one of our Hollywood Feed team members," a spokesperson for the pet food chain said in a statement. "On Wednesday of last week, there was a tragic incident in the parking lot outside of our Tucker, Georgia store. Our team member was critically injured during this incident and sadly passed on Thursday evening due to the injuries he suffered. This remains an active police investigation and our team has been working with local law enforcement. When appropriate we will share any additional details at their guidance." The statement added, "We request that all inquiries be directed to the DeKalb County Police. We request that everyone respect the privacy of his wife, his family, and our employees as they grieve from this horrific loss."

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Speaking to WSB-TV, frequent customer Mahalia Jackson said she couldn't imagine something so horrible could happen at her favorite store. “We just don’t feel for each other anymore and it makes you want to stay to yourself,” Jackson said. "It’s very disheartening to hear...that’s a horrible thing to happen at any time and especially during the holidays," another customer Alexis Lindsey told Fox 5 Atlanta. "(He was) very friendly, always welcoming, he always would say hi to Annabelle, so it’s just really sad to hear that this happened to him," she added. Family members told WSB-TV that 31-year-old Feuerstein was married and in college studying civil engineering. Loved ones have arranged a special memorial for him on Saturday, November 19.

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