Why are there so many shooting incidents and other gun crimes on Walmart property?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Man shoots deer in Pennsylvania Walmart parking lot

Occurred November 26, 2012.

(UPDATED: see below)
On the first day of deer hunting season last November, in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, Arcangelo Bianco Jr., 40, was in town doing some banking when he saw a 10-point whitetail deer run through the Walmart parking lot.  

He grabbed his hunting rifle out of his car and immediately shot "several shots" at the deer, pursuing it through the parking lot and across the street until he killed it.  He then took off with the carcass and took it away.

He is now being charged with reckless endangerment and hunting law violations

From an article:

According to the commission, Bianco fired several rounds at a hapless white-tailed deer from within the Burrell Township store’s parking lot and bagged the animal on the other side of Old William Penn Highway (Old Route 22) one afternoon last November. 
The most serious of the charges he faces is a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment. He also was slapped with five summary offenses, all hunting law violations, including hunting without a license, shooting on or across highways and unlawful killing or taking of big game. 
“Obviously, we can’t have someone running through a Walmart parking lot shooting at a deer,” said Jack Lucas, the wildlife conservation officer who investigated the incident. 
But the one thing Bianco does not stand accused of is hunting out of season — the incident reportedly took place on Nov. 26, the first day of antlered deer season with regular firearms. 
On that day, Bianco had driven to the Burrell Township shopping plaza to do some banking, Lucas said. 
It was around 2:10 p.m. that Bianco spotted the buck running through the parking lot from the cab of his pickup truck, Lucas said. 
And it apparently was some buck. Ten points, if memory serves, Lucas said. 
The deer ran around a corner of the store, and Bianco hopped out of the truck, gun in hand, and “began firing multiple rounds at the deer,” Lucas wrote in charging documents. 
“The defendant pursued the deer through the parking lot and across Old William Penn Highway, where he killed the deer. The defendant then loaded the deer into his vehicle and took it to a meat processor for butchering,” he said.
Luckily no one was injured (other than the deer).

UPDATE (5/6/13):  When Bianco did the shooting in the Walmart parking lot, he fired and hit the deer using a handgun, when the deer was next to a tractor-trailer that had people in it unloading goods at the time.  The deer then dropped across the road in the yard of a woman's home.  He put all of these people in danger, yet blithely contends that he shouldn't be charged since he didn't know the people were there.  From an article:

At the hearing, employee Domenick Hewitt testified he was loading the trailers when he saw Bianco's pickup stop abruptly in the lot then speedily reverse toward the side of the store. 
"After the truck stopped, I saw this guy jump out, and he started running along the side of the store, where the trailers were, and he pulled out a handgun and fired two shots at the deer," Hewitt said. "At first I didn't know what he was doing." 
Blood smears found on a trailer showed the deer was nearby when Bianco fired, Wildlife Conservation Officer Jack Lucas testified. 
Defense attorney Jason Huska argued the reckless endangerment charge was unwarranted because he contends Bianco couldn't have known any workers were in the trailers when he fired. 
But Indiana County Assistant District Attorney Jay Carmella said it didn't matter whether Bianco saw the workers in the trailers, and said there were also many people in the parking lot and noted the woman who owned the home where the deer finally dropped also came out of her home. 
"He had to know there was a risk of firing a gun there," Carmella said. The district judge agreed in ordering Bianco to stand trial.

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UPDATE (10/22/13):  The shooter was sentenced only to probation for his crime:
Bianco was not required to make a plea under the ARD program for first-time, nonviolent offenders. He can have his arrest record expunged upon successful completion of the probation period if he stays out of trouble. 
In addition to serving six months of probation, he was ordered by Indiana Judge William J. Martin to pay $900 in costs, $180 in probation supervision fees and serve 20 hours of community service.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Art: "War Made In America"

"War Made In America" -- an original surrealist painting by Levinson

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Armed robbery of a Wisconsin Walmart

Occurred March 22, 2013.

Two armed men entered a 24-hour Walmart Neighborhood Market in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and robbed the store of cash before fleeing.  They have yet to be caught.

From an article:

Wauwatosa police are looking for two people who robbed the Walmart Neighborhood Market near 124th Street and Capitol Drive early Friday and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash. 
Two armed individuals, who were wearing all black, entered the store at 3850 N. 124th St. at 2:50 a.m., police said. The robbers, who police believe are male, took the money and left in a vehicle.

(a related news video)

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UPDATE (6/13/13):  Three men were involved.  One of them was an employee of the Walmart.  They used a realistic-looking BB gun. 

From an article with details on how the crime unfolded and how the suspects were caught:
Three Milwaukee men are in custody in the armed robbery early Friday morning of the Walmart Market in Wauwatosa, according to police reports. 
Two of the men are accused of driving to the door of the store and carrying out the holdup while the other waited with a backup vehicle. After the robbery, they swapped cars and transferred their guns and other evidence from one to the other, to "throw off police," one of them confessed. 
The robbery was something of an inside job, according to the suspects' statements.
Two of the suspects, one 20 and one 26 years old, were discussing robbing a bank or business Thursday night. The third man, 23, told them that he could plan and take part in a robbery of the Walmart at 3850 N. 124thSt., because he knew the place well. He had been fired from his job there a week before. 
He drew a map of the interior and told them about the store's policies on storing money. He and one of the others donned all black clothing and took two guns, one a loaded pistol and the other a short rifle.  ... 
Several said that they believed the rifle one carried was in fact a BB gun, and the 18-year-old felt certain of it, saying he was close enough he could see BB's in the magazine of what he told police was an AK-47 lookalike.

Five men, armed with assault rifles, rob Texas Walmart

Scene of armed robbery at Atascocita Walmart
Occurred January 10, 2012.

Five men, armed with assault rifles, robbed a Walmart store in Atascocita, Texas.

From an article:

At approximately 11:00pm on January 10, multiple masked suspects entered the big-box retailer. The suspects wielded high-powered rifles as they moved through the store directly to the office where cash was stored. One suspect wheeled a large metal box containing an undisclosed amount of cash in a shopping cart to a waiting getaway car outside. 
All suspects fled the scene in what appeared to be a white four-door passenger vehicle, possibly a Ford Taurus. Surveillance video of the crime was released last week. 
Investigators are still looking for two other suspects, Stanley White, 18, and Kevin Harris, 21. 
All five are charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.
According to another article, police believe it was an inside job:

Investigators said the heist appears to be an inside job. All the money was picked up at the registers at 10:55 p.m. and taken to the back, just minutes before the robbers came in. This time differs each night. 
The armed men walked into the store and went directly where the money was being counted. They quietly put the money in a grocery cart and pushed it out to their car.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Double-amputee shoots Alaska Walmart manager when asked to leash service dog

Scene of shooting in Anchorage Walmart
Occurred March 16, 2013.

(updated, see below)

45-year-old Daniel Pirtle, a double-amputee in a motorized cart, was shopping in a Walmart in Anchorage, Alaska.  He had a service dog, but the dog was not on a leash.  When 33-year-old manager Jason Mahi asked Pirtle to leash his dog or leave, Pirtle became angry and shot Mahi once in the abdomen.

According to the Anchorage Scanner, the shooting occurred in the gun section of the store.

Pirtle was arrested just outside the store by an off-duty police officer and taken into custody.  Mahi survived so far and underwent surgery.

The store never closed, and wasn't evacuated.

From an article:

According to police, the man entered the store in a motorized cart at about 3 p.m. and went the sporting goods section. Mahi asked him to the put the dog on a leash or leave.  
The man then pulled out a gun and shot the manager in the abdomen, police said. 
Officers removed the man's prosthetic legs and put him in the back of a patrol car, the Anchorage Daily News reported. They held his dog in the back of another police cruiser. An officer said she was driving the dog home.

(a related article)

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UPDATE (3/20/13):  The victim, Mahi, remains unconscious in the hospital.  Pirtle meanwhile has been charged and is choosing to represent himself. He had two pistols on him at that time of the shooting.  From an article:
He was charged with first-degree assault and weapons misconduct, and on Tuesday declined a public defender, telling the judge that he preferred to represent himself. "I know how to do that," he said at the pre-indictment hearing. .... 
Pirtle had two pistols with him at the store, and later admitted to detectives that he had shot Mahi, according to an information report filed by the local district attorney. 
Mahi's brother, Brandon Mahi, said the victim remained unconscious on Tuesday. "We're just praying every day," Brandon Mahi said after Pirtle's brief court appearance. 
He said the family is upset that Walmart continued to do business after the shooting. "They just kept running like nothing even happened," he said. .... 
If Mahi dies, murder charges will be added, said Anita Shell, a spokeswoman for the Anchorage Police Department.
UPDATE (3/22/13): A recent article revealed additional details about the shooter.  According to the article:
Pirtle liked to travel with the 5-month-old dog Wookie -- and the guns -- wherever he went, said Susi Griffith, a roommate and longtime friend. He showed indications of instability, she said, but had seemed to be adjusting to a pair of surgeries to remove his legs because of diabetes over the past two to three years. .... 
Over the past two weeks, Pirtle had become irritable, Griffith said. "He has mental instabilities. He had medication that I believe he had quit taking."
UPDATE (3/28/13):  Here is a video from a news outlet which has a digital reenactment of the shooting.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/03/18/2830596/with-walmart-shooting-victim-in.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/03/18/2830596/with-walmart-shooting-victim-in.html#storylink=cpy

UPDATE (3/31/13):  Here is information on the off-duty police officerSgt. Mike Couturier, who detained Pirtle until he could be arrested.

UPDATE (11/16/13):  The shooter, Daniel Pirtle, plead guilty.  The victim, Brandon Mahi, has apparently recovered and returned to work.  From an article:
Daniel Pirtle, 46, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of first-degree assault for the shooting that put Jason Mahi, 33, in a hospital for weeks. Pirtle was originally charged with attempted murder and misconduct involving a weapon. 
An off-duty police sergeant who was shopping helped corral Pirtle, who was motoring out the store's front door as other officers arrived. Walmart employees made no announcement about the shooting, and shoppers in other parts of the store were unaware of what had happened, witnesses said.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/11/15/3178624/man-who-shot-walmart-employee.html#storylink=cpy
UPDATE (3/28/14):  The shooter, Pirtle, was sentenced.  From an article:

Before handing down a sentence of 11 years with two suspended and two years of probation, Judge Michael Spaan told Pirtle he was lucky someone else carrying a gun did not shoot him.
"You had people reaching for shotguns. You had police officers asking for guns," Spaan said. "This was horrible, but it could have been a lot worse. It was a very crowded store, a very public place."
"It was Dodge City," the judge said. "For a rage like this to break out for somebody asking you to put your dog on a leash in a store is unacceptable."

The victim, Jason Mahi, who was shot in the stomach, remains handicapped from the shooting:
"It's been a rough road," said Mahi, who spent three months in a hospital and racked up more than $1 million in medical bills. ....
Mahi now walks with a cane and suffered damage to his hip, intestines, kidney and bladder, he said. But he said the trouble and worry caused to his family has been the worst part.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/03/28/3399078/amputee-gets-9-year-sentence-in.html?sp=/99/188/#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/03/28/3399078/amputee-gets-9-year-sentence-in.html?sp=/99/188/#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/03/28/3399078/amputee-gets-9-year-sentence-in.html?sp=/99/188/#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Officer-involved shooting at Missouri Walmart

Occurred March 12, 2013.

Undercover police officers witnessed a disturbance in the parking lot of a Walmart in Joplin, Missouri.  When they confronted the suspects, the suspects tried to run them over, and the officers shot and wounded the vehicle occupants.

From an article:
Two suspects are in custody at the Joplin City Jail following a late night officer involved shooting which occured at the 15th Street Walmart. Two Joplin Police officers were conducting an undercover anti-theft detail Tuesday night just before 11:00, when they observed a disturbance in the parking lot. 
One of the suspects fled on foot. As the officers pursued the suspect, a male and female involved in the disturbance were in a pickup truck and attempted to run over one of the officers. The officer fired shots at the vehicle, striking the two occupants. The truck fled the scene. 
Joplin Police Lt. Brian Lewis says, "The truck was stopped by a Duquesne officer at 9th and Range Line. At that point they were taken into custody. Both suspects received injuries from the gun shot wounds. They were treated; they were not life threatening."
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UPDATE (3/14/13):  The two suspects have been identified.  From an article:
John Gage, 24, of Joplin, has been charged with the assault of a law enforcement officer. Tyeler Whetstone, 22, was also arrested and charged with possession with the intent to sell illegal drugs. .... 
Both received injuries from the gun shots. Gage was shot in the shoulder and a shot struck Whetstone in the finger. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Walmart is a "top-tier" donor for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus gun lobby

According to a New York Times article today, Walmart is a "top tier" donor to a major gun rights lobby group in Washington, D.C., called the Congressonal Sportsmen's Caucus, right up there with the NRA, Remington, and Winchester.
Contributions ballooned from $434,000 in 2001 to more than $2 million in 2011, with its top-tier donors including firearms makers and retailers like Remington, Winchester and Walmart.

The organization "counts more than 250 members in the House and Senate."

According to the article:  
The foundation opposes restrictions on high-capacity ammunition magazines, a ban on military-style AR-15 rifles and the imprinting of bullets with traceable serial numbers to help solve crimes.  ...
The caucus is regularly used as a launching pad in Congress for pro-gun legislation. The sponsor and all 27 original co-sponsors of a 2005 bill that shielded the firearms industry from liability suits were caucus members. More than 100 members co-sponsored the Second Amendment Enforcement Act, which was aimed at rolling back gun control measures in Washington, D.C., but died in committee in 2011. 
Also in 2011, caucus members wrote amendments that would have prevented gun dealers from having to report customers who make multiple purchases of certain weapons in states bordering Mexico, and would have rolled back restrictions on imports of shotguns with tactical features like extended magazine tubes. The N.R.A. issued a statement praising the amendments’ authors, Representatives Denny Rehberg of Montana and John Carter of Texas, both Republicans. 

 Luckily, not all legislators are willing to accept that viewpoint:
Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., a New Jersey Democrat who as a co-chairman of the law enforcement caucus has butted heads with the sportsmen’s caucus on gun issues, said pro-gun groups had stoked fear in Congress by portraying any limits on firearms as a threat to legitimate pastimes like hunting. 
“They see this as if they give in on any one item, it will put them on a slippery slope to coming into your home and taking your guns away,” Mr. Pascrell said. “They’re creating hysteria.”
Given that Walmart has more than one shooting on their properties every week, not counting all the armed robberies and threats where shots weren't fired, you would think Walmart would distance themselves from organizations like this which oppose even the most modest of gun regulation.

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Four men rob Florida Walmart at gunpoint

Occurred March 6, 2013.

Four men entered a Walmart in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, then fled.

From an article:
Authorities want the public’s help in identifying and locating suspects in the armed robbery of a Royal Palm Beach Walmart. 
According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the robbery happened 12:30 a.m. Wednesday at the store, which is located at 9990 Belvedere Road. 
The sheriff’s office released still photos of three suspects, plus a sketch of one of them and a picture of the gold minivan in which they fled.
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Man armed with gun steals TV from a California Walmart; caught by police after dramatic chase

Occurred March 9, 2013.

A man walked into a Walmart in American Canyon, California, armed with a gun, and walked out fled with a stolen TV.  

Police chased the man in his pickup, and the chase ended with after the man crashed into a patrol car, then was hit by another patrol car.  After tasering the suspect, he was arrested and taken into custody.

From an article:

Police got a call around 4:30 a.m. from security officers at the Walmart at 7011 Main St. reporting that a man stole a TV and said he had a gun when confronted. 
The man jumped into a car and drove onto state Highway 29, where officers spotted him a short time later. 
When officers attempted to stop the car, the suspect sped away and drove into a mobile home park on American Canyon Road, police said. 
The chase ended with the suspect crashing into one of the police patrol cars following him. 
Officers quickly apprehended the suspect, identified as 64-year-old Robert Craig of Vallejo. He was arrested on suspicion of robbery, evading police and resisting arrest.
Before being taken to jail, Craig was transported to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa County and treated for minor injuries, police said. 
No other injuries were reported.

(A related news video)

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Man threatened by meth druggie wielding realistic-looking BB gun at Arizona Sam's Club

Occurred March 8, 2013.

A man in a Flagstaff, Arizona, Sam's Club parking lot was held at gunpoint by another man who was apparently high on meth.  The victim was able to convince the gunman to put away the gun and leave peaceably.

The gun was later determined to be a realistic-looking BB gun.

From an article:
A 22-year-old man told police he didn't know it was a BB gun when a man pulled a gun on him in the Sam's Club parking lot last week. According to a police report, the suspect was riding his skateboard when he jumped off, produced a gun and said "I hate to do this to you, but meth makes you do crazy things." The victim told police he debated trying to grab the gun away, believing the man was going to kill him. The suspect appeared to be high on meth and was constantly fidgeting, he said. The man pointed the gun at the victim's chest, as well as his own chest, but never demanded anything. Eventually, the suspect gave him the gun, he told police. The victim put the gun in his waistband and talked to the man about "life" for about 40 minutes. The victim was a former meth addict and talked to the man about Christianity, the report said. Eventually, the two hugged, said "God bless" and went their separate ways. The man later called police and gave them his description, but said he didn't want to get the suspect in any more trouble than he was already in. Police collected the gun from the man and determined it was a BB gun, but an officer said you wouldn't have known it wasn't real unless you manipulated it.
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Conceal carry permit holder threatens Florida Walmart employees with gun over a denied coupon

Occurred March 4, 2013.

Mary Frances Alday, 61, was in a Walmart in Crawfordville, Florida, when her $1-off coupon was rejected.  She became angry and hit a manager with a shopping cart, and was subsequently escorted out.  But she made threats, and once at her car she pulled out a loaded Smith & Wesson .38 Special and pointed it at employees, threatening to shoot them.

Alday was then pulled over by the police, but refused to hand over her weapon, until she was tased and dragged from her car.

Alday is a legal conceal carry permit holder.

From an article:

As several Walmart employees watched from the store’s entrance, Alday appeared outside her car “waving the gun in the holster,” reported investigators. Alday then removed the weapon--a loaded Smith & Wesson .38 Special--from the holster and pointed it “at all the store employees and stated ‘I have something for Y’all.’” The Walmart workers “retreated back inside the building due to being in fear for their lives.” 
Alday, who fled the Walmart parking lot in a 2011 Ford Escape, was subsequently pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy who asked if there was a firearm in the SUV.  
“Yes, I have a concealed weapons permit, and you are not taking my gun.” Asked about the gun’s location, Alday replied, “You’re not taking my gun.” 
Alday twice refused the deputy’s request to exit the auto, and was tasered when she “reached over the console for something in the passenger seat.” Alday was then dragged from the car and handcuffed. The gun was found in the vehicle’s center console. .... 
Alday was charged with four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of battery. She was booked into the county jail, where she remains in custody in advance of an initial court appearance. 
Sheriff’s reports do not indicate the Walmart item for which Alday was seeking to save a dollar.

(the Wakulla County Sheriff's department report)

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Armed prescription drug robbers at Pennsylvania Walmart plead guilty

Armed robbery occurred August 6, 2012.

Last August, a couple robbed a Walmart pharmacy at gunpoint, in Lower Nazareth Township, Pennsylvania. 

Wanting prescription pain medicines, Gregory and Lindsey Dalrymple, planned the heist together.  She armed herself with a 9mm handgun, and he with an unloaded realistic-looking pellet gun.  She drove the getaway car while he stole prescription patches.

They have now pleaded guilty to the crime.

From an article:
Gregory and Lindsey Dalrymple pleaded guilty to one count of robbery this morning before Northampton County Judge Edward Smith. Authorities say that after being unable to purchase the painkilling Fentanyl patches, the two conspired to steal between 15 and 20 from the in-store pharmacy at the store's Route 248 location. 
Gregory Dalrymple told Smith he had become dependent on the drug following his spinal fusion surgery, but could no longer acquire the drug legally. His wife had been abusing the medication as well, he said, so she purchased a 9 mm handgun Aug. 4, drove him Aug. 6 to the Wal-Mart and scouted out the inside so he could rob it. 
"I wasn't going to do it if there were women and children in there. I wasn't going to do it," he said, adding that he apologized to the pharmacist as he leveled the unloaded gun at him.
After the pharmacist stuffed the pain medications into a bag, Gregory Dalrymple said he quickly got out of the pharmacy and was thanked by a Wal-Mart greeter as he left. He then jumped into the waiting car, and Lindsey Dalrymple sped off to their South Easton home, he said. The two ate the patches as they raced home, he said. 
Police received a tip that Gregory Dalrymple was the gunman and on Aug. 9 raided an apartment on the first block of North 11th Street, but he was not there. He surrendered Aug. 22 and testified against his wife at her preliminary hearing
After Gregory Dalrymple pleaded guilty to one count of robbery, Lindsey Dalrymple acknowledged most of the same facts, but said she did not actively conspire with her husband. She had applied for the 9 mm handgun weeks before and said her husband brandished a pellet gun in the robbery. While Gregory Dalrymple had not threatened her the day of the robbery, he had become physical in the past when she defied him, she said. 
"You're either going to get your ass beat, or you're going to do what you're told," she said, adding the he had tried to have her shanked in prison. Assistant District Attorney Patricia Fuentes Mulqueen said the allegations weren't true.
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Friday, March 1, 2013

Two teen boys rob man at gunpoint in Florida Walmart parking lot

Occurred February 27, 2013.

Two boys, ages 15 and 16, robbed a man at gunpoint in the parking lot of a Walmart in Orlando, Florida.

From an article:

According to police, the 15- and 16-year-old boys held their victim up at gunpoint in the parking lot of the Walmart on the 2500 block of South Kirkman Road at about 10 p.m. Wednesday. 
One boy held the handgun to the victim's back as the other took his property before running off, police say. Officers caught the boys minutes later with the victim's property and the gun. 
Both were arrested. The 15-year-old boy face charges of robbery with a firearm and possession of a firearm. The 16-year-old also faces robbery charges. 
The 26-year-old victim was not injured during the robbery.

The article did not say how the boys got hold of a loaded handgun.

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Walmart bans all knives in bakeries, but still sells guns despite weekly shootings?

Recently, a man bought an Elmo birthday cake for his son's second birthday from a Walmart in Lewiston, Maine.  When they cut into the cake, they discovered that the cake had been baked with a small metal paring knife inside of it!

Naturally, the man and his family were horrified that such a mistake could be made, and immediately reported the issue to the Walmart store that had made it.

Walmart's reaction:  immediately ban the use of knives in all of its bakeries, nationwide!  

From an article (bolding added):

Nathan Bibeau says as the family was slicing into the Elmo birthday cake bought at the Auburn Walmart someone spotted a small metal paring knife. 
Bibeau tells WGME-TV he was "pretty disappointed," and called Walmart immediately. 
Walmart apologized and offered a refund. A corporate spokeswoman said the knife incident "should not have happened," and the retailer was eliminating use of the knives at store bakeries nationwide.

How do you run a bakery without knives?  While I'm glad Walmart is concerned and has taken (over-reactive) steps to address the issue, I'm perplexed.

As I have chronicled here at Walmart Shootings, Walmart averaged more than one shooting a week in 2012, and that doesn't even account for gun crimes (stolen guns, armed robberies, etc) which did not involve shots fired.  In just the first two months of 2013, there have been 11 shootings -- more than one a week (here's a running list).

So Walmart will ban all knives in their bakeries after a single, non-injury incident, but will gladly continue selling guns and ammo, including five different assault rifles, despite weekly carnage on their properties?

Walmart.  Save money.  Die faster.