Suspect Shot in Walmart Incident
A serious incident appears to be currently underway at the Walmart on 29th Street. Scanner traffic and the SAPD calls for service log indicate possible shots fired with multiple EMS, SAPD and SAFD responding.
No reports have as of yet been confirmed, however scanner traffic indicates there may be multiple suspects.
Reporters on scene confirm police are currently setting up a perimeter around the superstore.
Update: 3:04 p.m.
At least one person has been transported to the hospital in an ambulance with a police car in front of and behind it. All vehicles leaving the parking lot are being stopped, and if need be, searched.
Police are advising the public to avoid Walmart at this time. If an outing is necessary, please go to the location on Sherwood Way.
Update: 3:49 p.m.
Chief of Police Tim Vasquez explains the incident. "Earlier this afternoon, officers were dispatched to Walmart north in reference to an unknown disturbance. While on our way up here, we were advised that there was a subject that was trying to break into the gun cabinets in the sporting goods area. As the employees approached the subject, he advised them he had an explosive device on his person.
"Upon arrival, the officers encountered the suspect outside in the parking lot. A confrontation ensued at that time. Shots were fired and a subject was struck by the gunfire," Vasquez said. The subject hit was the suspect, who had engaged in a confrontation with responding officers. The suspect's identity has not yet been released, however he was transported to Shannon Medical Center and was identified as a 42-year-old male. The man's condition and extent of his injuries were unknown at the time of briefing.
"As of right now, we have not had the opportunity to interview the suspects to acquire statements," Vazquez continued. "Everything was very fluid and going very quickly, and again upon arrival, everyone was pointing at the subject and a confrontation ensued between him and the officers."
No employees were injured in the confrontation. Reports of the pharmacy being involved have also not been confirmed at this point, Chief Vasquez said.
"Detectives at the scene advised me that the pharmacy was involved as well," he said, however they have not yet confirmed that as the investigation is ongoing. Whether there were multiple suspects involved is also being investigated.
"This scene is different than most," the Chief said. "There are a couple hundred witnesses and people we're dealing with, so we're working through that right now. I cannot confirm or deny that there are other people."
The Walmart will remain closed for at least the next couple of hours due to investigation. Police immediately began clearing the store for public safety measures.
"Currently our Criminal Investigations Division are here, our CSI are here, and we also have involved the Texas Rangers..." Vasquez said.
A brown dually is located in the crime scene at the moment. Whether or not it belongs to the suspect has not been confirmed. Charges against the suspect will be determined as the investigation develops.
Update 4:50 p.m.
Chief Vasquez has said that the police are interviewing over 100 witnesses. Police are viewing patrol vehicle videos and dividing witnesses up into groups based on their locations. There are multiple witnesses to both the in-store incident and the parking lot incident.
The suspect was considered to be threatening and he would not adhere to command. After his being shot, it was determined that the suspect did have a weapon on his person.
"The suspect entered the store, picked up an object--we believe a hammer--from the hardware department, then went ot the counter and told the person working...the gun counter that he had a bomb. The suspect then crashed the rifle case with the hammer, broke the glass, grabbed a rifle. One of the assistant managers confronted the suspect and a confrontation ensued there. They wrestled the weapon away form the suspect, the suspect then started towards the door," Chief vasquez said.
"As we were responding to the scene, we were told that the suspect was armed and that he'd made it to his vehicle, and was trying to get something out from underneath the seat. That's when the officers surrounded the vehicle."
No further information on the condition of the suspect has been made available at this time. When shot, Vasquez said, the suspect did have a weapon in his hand and did not respond to any of the commands officers were giving.
"At this point, we do belive he acted alone," Vasquez said. "We do believe he was in the company of people, but they weren't anywhere near the location. We have a few people detained at this point as potential suspects, but we don't believe that even those we have detained as potential suspects were actually involved or participated in any way with the event."
"I believe that someone could have been in danger at any time. They have a great policy in place here and all the guns have gun locks, so even though the suspect was able to pull a gun out, it had a gun lock on it. That's great. That's information that we weren't aware of before...I do think that
Due to the threat of the bomb and the use of the hammer, the crime will be considered a first-degree felony of aggravated robbery.
Walmart, at this point, will likely remain closed for the rest of the evening. The Texas Rangers are assisting in the investigation as is customary when an officer is involved in a shooting, and will begin processing the parking lot first before moving indoors.
Police will notify the public when the store is opened for business. Until then, shoppers should defer to the Walmart on Sherwood Way.
Update 6:00 p.m.
Police Chief Vasquez updated media on the incident at 5:45 p.m. At the briefing, he stated that the suspect is stil being treated at the hospital. The two people that had been previously detained have now been cleared and released. "They were not involved with the suspect," he said. "The suspect acted alone."
Vasquez said that when the suspect entered the store, smashed the counter and took out a rifle, he did point the rifle at several people before a manager wrestled it away from him. The man then left the store.
"The suspect entered the truck that you see inside the crime scene. He began moving around--he entered on the passenger's side--back and forth...it appeared he was trying to get something under the seat," Vasquez said. At this point, the officers were telling him to get on the ground, but the man disregarded orders.
"When the suspect exited the vehicle, he had a bottle, I believe a beer bottle or a liquor bottle of some sort. He smashed the bottle on the ground and then charged the officer and then shots were fired."
After the shots were fired, officers began to administer first aid, Vasquez said, until the medics arrived. None of the officers were injured.
Update 9:27 p.m.
Police confirm Charles D. Welborn (12-26-71) was the man involved in the robbery/shooting this afternoon.
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