The garden center at a Walmart in Kaufman, Texas, became a bloodied crime scene Tuesday when an apparently jealous husband shot his romantic rival.
At 10 a.m. Tuesday, police received a call that there was an active shooter at the Kaufman Walmart, the Dallas Morning News reported. Not long after, it was described as a murder-suicide.
According to police, a man named Donald Ray Coleman, 55, went to the Kaufman Walmart that day with one goal in mind: shooting his neighbor, 59-year-old John D. Morgan, who was an employee there.
Coleman walked into the store and in front of customers and without speaking a single word, raised a handgun at Morgan, shooting him multiple times. He died on the scene. The man then turned the weapon on himself and pulled the trigger at his own head, said police spokesman Capt. Ed Black.
NBC Dallas-Fort Worth described the shooting in Kaufman as unprovoked.
The store was full of customers at the time, but no one else was targeted in the shooting and no other injuries reported. A witness was standing by Morgan when he was shot, but wasn’t hurt.
The Kaufman Walmart was evacuated immediately. Witnesses told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth that there was a heavy police presence in the area after the shooting, roads were blocked off, area businesses were put on lockdown, as were local schools.
John Hefley was in the Kaufman Walmart at the time of the shooting.
“I can’t think of something like this happening out here in a long time. Maybe it’s a jealousy thing, who knows? It’s bad.”
Right after the chaotic scene unfolded, Coleman was reported to have died of the self-inflicted gunshot wound, but he actually survived the injury. He was transported by air ambulance from Kaufman to a Dallas hospital and on Tuesday was reported to be in critical condition.
Police also initially described the two men as friends, when in fact they were neighbors and apparently romantic rivals. Officials knew right away that the two had “some past history.”
As it turns out, Morgan had reportedly been dating Coleman’s estranged wife, who was not named in media reports.
Earlier this year, the gunman had a run-in with the law. Police in Gun Barrel City, located in Henderson County, where Coleman and Morgan lived, were looking for him after his estranged wife accused him of physical abuse.
As the story goes, she decided to go out with a friend one night and when she returned home, Coleman allegedly greeted his wife by pistol-whipping her.
He was also accused of binding her hands and then dragging her to the garage. There, he threatened to kill her and the friend she’d gone out with; it’s not clear whether this “friend” was Morgan.
She broke free from her binds and ran to a neighbor’s house. It’s not clear whether Coleman was charged with a crime or if the case was moving forward.
While Coleman’s motives for Tuesday morning’s shooting at Walmart are clear, much of the crime remains a mystery, Black said.
“We don’t know why he chose this day or this time to come to Kaufman to do this.”
An hour after the shooting, employees returned to the store, but it remained closed to shoppers. Walmart released a statement about the shooting death later that day.
“We’re deeply saddened by the tragic situation that occurred in our store today,” the statement said. “We’re assisting law enforcement however we can and our thoughts are with the families and our associates at this time.”
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