In the latest Arizona crime news, a 24-year-old Walmart store employee, identified as Ebonice Johnson, was arrested for allegedly trying to kill her co-workers with a.22 rifle over a dispute and wanted to commit suicide by forcing responding officers to kill her, reported the ABC 15 Arizona.
Officers responded to a Walmart store in Prescott, Arizona, on Saturday around 6:30 a.m. near Prescott Lakes Parkway and Highway 6 after the manager called 911, reporting that an armed employee was in the parking lot threatening to murder her co-workers.
It was reported that during Johnson's shift, she was involved in a verbal altercation after dealing with difficult coworkers who allegedly picked on her. When her shift came to an end, Johnson informed the manager about the issue, but when she didn't like his response to the situation, it was alleged that she broke a cash register before walking out of the store.
Johnson, whose family and friends describe her as a sweet, fun, quiet and awesome person, admitted to police that she went home after the incident to retrieve a.22 rifle, ammunition, a knife, and a torch.Before leaving her home, she wrote a note and left it on her computer which stated that she was going to kill her co-workers and wanted to commit suicide by forcing responding officers to kill her.
When she returned to the Walmart store, the worker parked her vehicle in front of the doors on the east side of the building and tried to load the rifle. A customer saw Johnson and immediately alerted the manager who called Prescott police.
Meanwhile, Johnson continued loading her rifle but was having difficulties doing so successfully, therefore, she began walking towards the side of the building where she reportedly lost the rifle in the dark.She then tried to use her knife, but dropped it as well and couldn't locate it. Afterward, Johnson took the torch and attempted to set the building on fire, but Prescott police arrived just in time before tragedy struck.
Law enforcement officers were able to make an arrest in the Walmart store parking lot without any injuries.
She was taken to the "Yavapai County jail on four charges of pre-meditated suicide attempts, arson of an occupied structure, and weapons misconduct. All are felony charges."Investigators searched the Walmart worker's home and concluded that the "sole motivation was based on her dissatisfaction with her job."
Prescott police say, "This situation had the potential to end in terrible tragedy. Due to the awareness of a customer who immediately notified employees, appropriate actions were taken to protect those inside the store. The immediate response of Prescott police officers allowed for the swift apprehension of Johnson who was intent on a violent end."
An investigation is ongoing; however, detectives are now asking for the public's help in locating a witness, who was seen on surveillance footage and appeared to be running inside the Walmart store after having direct contact with Johnson.Deputy Police Chief Amy Bonney said, "This witness had contact with the suspect, Johnson, directly outside the store and alerted Wal-Mart staff about the activity."
"Information he may be able to provide will be an essential part of this investigation. Johnson is alleged to have gone to the Wal-Mart in the 3000 block of Highway 69 with a plan to kill her co-workers and commit suicide by cop."Police say the witness appeared to be a "white, 50 to 60-year-old and was wearing a red-and-white checkered flannel shirt and jeans."
If you have any information regarding the attempted murder case at the Walmart store in Prescott or the identity of the witness captured on surveillance footage, you are urged to contact Det. John Hanna at 928-777-1961.
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