An active shooter situation that developed a mere two days after the gruesome Orlando nightclub shooting was brought to an end by the police. Local SWAT security forces were able to bring the situation under control after shooting the gunman. The shooter had taken hostages, but all of them have been rescued. The police have confirmed that this incident isn’t connected with the Orlando shooting.
An active shooter situation at Walmart ended with the death of the gunman. Local SWAT officers were able to neutralize the threat, confirmed local police through a tweet:
Randall County Sheriff’s Office added that the shooter had taken multiple hostages, but every last person was freed, and no one was hurt in the standoff. The police have cordoned off the area, as well as the roads leading to the Walmart store, as the investigation continues, according to a post on Facebook:
An earlier status update from the sheriff’s office had notified about the developments, adding that officers from nearby law enforcement offices had responded to the emergency and reached the location. The post cautioned about the situation developing at the Walmart on Georgia and I-27 and asked citizens to stay away from the area:
It is not immediately clear who the gunman was or why he chose to target the particular Walmart store. However, local news agencies seemed to indicate it might have been a disgruntled present or former employee of the retailer store. “We do consider this a workplace violence situation at this point,” noted the sheriff’s office.
While the police haven’t released any information about the gunman, KFDA noted they were looking for a man wearing khaki pants. While the information still sketchy, witnesses described the man of Somali origin.
According to KVII, eyewitness later confirmed that the gunman seemed to be an employee and he had taken another employee as hostage. However, as the situation developed, it is likely the gunman took more hostages. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries.
As soon as the information about the active shooter in Walmart reached the authorities, the police responded at around 11:00 a.m. and began evacuating shoppers from the west side of the store in the Texas Panhandle, reported Fox News.
The APD, SWAT, DPS, and the FBI were actively involved in handling the situation. While the exact number of law enforcement officials present at the scene hasn’t been confirmed, eyewitnesses said there were at least 20 police and emergency vehicles, as well as a couple of helicopters that hovered above the Walmart store.
At present, a mobile command center has been stationed in the parking lot of Midnight Rodeo at 45th Avenue and Georgia Street that is monitoring the developments. However, considering the circumstances of the situation, it is unlikely there might be any further development. The command center is most likely for precautionary purposes and could be moved once the police are convinced the area is no longer in danger.
Since this is a developing situation, more information will be added.
[Update] Walmart released a statement three hours after the incident. While the retail chain hasn’t offered any specifics, it did note that all of the employees, including those held hostage, as well as the customers, were safely evacuated. The chain thanked the law enforcement officials for their quick action:
According to New York Daily News, the gunman caused panic by shooting at the ceiling. The shooter has been identified as 45-year-old Mohammad Moghaddam. Reportedly, he had entered the store with a pistol in hand and grabbed two store employees, including the store manager, as his hostages.
While investigations are still ongoing, the police still insist the active shooter situation isn’t connected to the recent spat of violence perpetrated by people who claimed their allegiance to the terror group ISIS. Officers added that Moghaddam was a former employee at the same store. Apparently, he was quite upset about being passed over for a promotion, shared Lt. Erick Bohanan.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]