Police have praised the “heroic” actions of employees and officers in response to a shooting at a Walmart in Indiana on Thursday in which one person was injured.
The shooter, a former employee who had been barred from the store, was eventually killed in a shootout with officers that lasted several minutes, police said.
“Last night could have been worse,” Vanderborough County Sheriff Noah Robinson said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
Employees ordered to line up
The incident occurred just before 10 p.m. local time at a Walmart in Evansville, a riverside city about 280 miles southwest of Indianapolis. According to Evansville Police, the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Ronald Ray Mosley II, walked into the store, went to the employee break room, and asked a dozen employees who were there to line up. is said to have been ordered to
According to Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin, the store’s team leader, a female employee, managed to escape from the room while the gunman turned his back and called 911.
Meanwhile, the gunman pursued a male employee who fled the room after shooting one of the female employees, and “was also the intended target,” Bolin said at a briefing on Friday.
The team leader returned to the break room when he saw the shooter leaving, took the injured victim to another room, and locked the door. “We’re back in the break room,” said the chief.
“There’s no question he’s back to finish what he started. Today there are probably dead victims, not living victims,” Bolin said, calling the team’s leader “absolutely A hero of sorts.”
Officers who rushed to the scene quickly entered the Walmart looking for the shooter as people in the store tried to hide or flee.
Police said seven Evansville police officers and a Vanderborough County sheriff’s deputy engaged in a shootout with the suspect at several different locations inside and outside the store, although the exact number of shots was unknown. bottom.
“There were many times he was actually shooting the cops before they could actually shoot him,” Anna Gray of the Sgt. Evansville Police Department said late Thursday. At a press conference, he said:
The suspect was shot and pronounced dead inside the store about eight minutes after police arrived on the scene, officials said. The entire incident lasted about 12 minutes after the initial 911 call, according to police.
After being taken from the scene to a local hospital, the injured female employee was taken by medical helicopter to another hospital due to the severity of her injuries, police said. She is currently hospitalized in a stable condition, police said Friday afternoon.
Gray said there were about 40 employees and 40 shoppers in the store at the time. Police don’t believe there are any other injuries, she said. No officers were injured in the shootout.
Suspect barred from entering store: police
The suspect was arrested in May 2022 for four assaults on store employees, Gray said. According to an affidavit obtained by ABC News, Mosley allegedly punched, kicked, scratched, and violently interacted with several employees before slamming another to the ground.
According to an affidavit, Mosley said he was “losing control after being bullied at work” and “broke his head blank”, but recalled some of the fights.
Mosley was fired and barred from the store after the incident, Gray said. Protection orders were also issued on behalf of the four victims, she said. He pleaded guilty to charging a battery and entered the county’s mental health court program, officials said.
Hours before Thursday’s shooting, Mosley was in a mental health court for hearings related to the battery case, Gray said.
Police were working to determine whether there was a non-colleague relationship between the suspect and the shooting victim. said Gray.
“Based on the information at hand, we believe Mosley was targeting employees at this particular Walmart store,” Gray said.
Police do not believe there are any other suspects at this time.
A one-page suicide note was apparently recovered from the suspect’s home during the execution of the search warrant, Gray said, but police did not elaborate further on the contents of the letter.
The shooting is still under investigation. Police say investigators are reviewing footage from responding officers’ body-worn cameras and Walmart security cameras, in addition to collecting evidence from the scene and interviewing witnesses.
“This is a tragic incident. I can’t imagine what the witnesses, employees and guests must have gone through,” Lieutenant Taylor Mellis of the Evansville Police Department said at a news conference early Friday morning. “But many more lives could have been lost last night without the courage and professionalism of our department.”
Walmart issued a statement to ABC News late Thursday saying it was “shocked by the senseless violence that occurred at its Evansville store.”
“As soon as we have more details, we will do everything we can to support our employees in dealing with this tragedy,” the company added. “We thank our local first responders and will continue to work with law enforcement during the investigation.”
ABC News’ Peter Charalambas, Ahmad Hemingway and Cherries Rudy contributed to this report.