A Walmart hostage taker was ranting about President Bush and Illuminati as he held a knife to the neck of a 2-year-old girl, witnesses said.
Police in Midwest City, Oklahoma, released video of the dramatic hostage crisis that played out in a Walmart on June 17. The surveillance video shows wanted felon Sammie Wallace walk up to a shopping cart with a 2-year-old girl. As the girl's mother, Alicia Keating, looked away to get an item from the shelf Wallace grabbed the girl.
Wallace handed a cell phone to the girl's mother and demanded she call a police officer he knew. The mother screamed, attracting other shoppers who lingered nearby.
Witnesses said it was clear the Walmart hostage taker was mentally unstable. He was reportedly ranting about how President Bush was watching him and talking about a connection to a secret society known as the Illuminati.
The situation didn't get any better as police tried to negotiate with Wallace. They said he became increasingly agitated, making outrageous demands until he eventually started to count down from 60.
Fearing he would harm the toddler, one police officer distracted Wallace while police captain David Huff fired a shot at the 37-year-old from point blank range, killing him instantly.
"Obviously, our goal was to talk him down to get him to release the child," said Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes. "Unfortunately, we weren't successful but we were successful in saving this child and the fact is that Capt. Huff's actions were extremely heroic and he waited till the very last moment."
Given the mental instability of the hostage taker, police said the action was justified.
"I mean we waited until the last second to use deadly force," Clabes told NBC affiliate KFOR-TV. "No one wants to take a life, especially in the line of duty."
Police are still trying to determine why the Walmart hostage taker decided to snatch the girl. A searchof Wallace's home uncovered more signs of a man deteriorating into mental illness. There they found a three-ring binder and spiral notebook filled with religious writings.