A Walmart in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, has become the site of a strange incident as a man wielding several guns in the store was shot late Saturday night when he refused to surrender his weapons to the Stroud Area Regional Police who responded to the call about the gun man.
The gunman reportedly had in his possession two handguns and a rifle when someone shot him. Jeff Strunk, who is the deputy director of the Monroe County 911 Center, relayed to the media that it is still unknown exactly which one of the responding officers delivered the fatal shot to the gun-wielding man. Police have identified that man as 20-year-old Joseph Todd of Mount Bethel.
CNN reported that according to the spokesman for Walmart, no other persons are reported to have been injured. Police were reported to have responded to the scene heavily armed, wielding assault rifles. However, the weapons that the gun wielding man carried is said to have warranted the precaution. Almost two hours after police secured the area there were still a dozen squad cars at Walmart.
A man who walked into the East Stroudsburg WalMart with several weapons was shot and killed by police Saturday night pic.twitter.com/DHvs8d50cR— Eric Deabill (@ericdeabill) December 13, 2015
Upon arrival to the Stroudsburg Walmart the police quickly evacuated the store. It seems as if the evacuation was something Todd had wanted as he allegedly screamed at persons he encountered to “get the f**k out” of the store while pointing his guns at them. Joseph Todd was wearing a bandanna around his lower face and a couple who were interviewed say they encountered him in the toy isle initially and though he was just playing with the toy guns, but soon realized his mistake when the man came closer. They say they will never forget the look in his dark eyes before he left their area.
Another eye-witness to the Todd’s gun-wielding says that on top of screaming for all the customers and employees to leave the store the man also seemed in a suicidal state. The man with the guns actually turned it on himself at one point, walking down isles holding a gun to his own head. There was also said to be at least one shot fired by the gun man, many believe it was a misfire though, but it was enough to have shoppers running out of the Stroudsburg store.
No motive is known for the assault on the store. It is believed though that the man was approximately 20 years-old. Upon arrival police subdued the suspected gun man and fired at least three shots inside the Walmart. The suspect was shot in the upper chest area. New York Daily writes that the man was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead by Monroe County Coroner at 10:56 p.m.
The incident occurred around 10:15 p.m. on Saturday night when the man walked into Walmart with the previously mentioned handguns and rifles as well as an assault type weapon, that resembles a machete. It is the second time this month that a Walmart has encountered a gun man late in the night. On December 3, a location in Darien, Illinois, was also the scene of a shooting.
Shoppers are becoming increasingly weary, especially as it nears the holidays. Vanessa Canfield of East Stroudsburg vocalized that fear in an interview.
“I won’t even come here by myself. I always ask my husband to go with me because I’m so scared. Now there’s a shooter. I’ll never come here alone ever.”
State and local law enforcement officials in the Stroudsburg area secured the scene immediately, and within one hour of the start of the incident they had declared the area safe. The Walmart has been closed however and is expected to remain so until the investigation is complete.
The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office and Pennsylvania State Police are, per requirement, investigating the incident since it was an officer-involved shooting that led to the death of a suspect.
[Photo Courtesy of Joshua Lott/ Getty Images]