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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Minnesota man purchased rifle and ammunition from Walmart for use in murder plot against ex-wife's husband

Occurred January 6, 2013.

John Edwin Bemis III purchased a .22 rifle and ammunition from a Walmart store in Hermantown, Minnesota, which was then used by his ex-wife, Marie Majerle, in a murder attempt that they had plotted together, to kill her current husband. 

After purchasing the gun and ammo from Walmart, Bemis carefully instructed Majerle on how to use the gun to murder the husband, how to dispose of the gun, and how to get away with him and their 14-year old daughter.  He also attempted to shave off the serial number.

She attempted the murder, but only wounded the husband

From an article (bolding added):

The complaint said Bemis, Marie Majerle and their daughter traveled to the Miller Hill Mall in Duluth. Bemis left them and went to the Super Wal-Mart Center in Hermantown, where he purchased the .22-caliber ammunition and returned to the mall. 
Back at the residence, Bemis allegedly continued the conspiracy by showing Marie Majerle how to load and unload the rifle. He showed her that it was a semi-automatic rifle and could be fired more than one time by simply pulling the trigger. He then showed her where the safety was before he went into the basement and drilled the serial numbers off the rifle, the complaint said. 
Marie Majerle said Bemis placed the rifle in the vehicle she would be driving. She said he advised her where to discard the rifle after the shooting and to take a change of clothes so she could burn the ones she was wearing after the shooting. 
According to the complaint, Marie Majerle told investigators that Bemis had a job opportunity in Arizona and the only thing preventing him, Marie Majerle and their child from leaving was Richard Majerle. She also told investigators that she was convinced Bemis would have killed Richard Majerle because he had made comments about possibly conducting a drive-by shooting of the victim as he went to work or at his home. 
Police viewed a Wal-Mart surveillance video showing Bemis purchasing the ammunition found in Marie Majerle’s car after the shooting, the complaint said. Investigators said they also found the clothing she was to have used if her attempt to kill Richard Majerle had been successful. 
According to the complaint, during Tuesday’s interview with investigators, Marie Majerle said she had decided not to kill Richard Majerle when she went to his home but instead to shoot and wound him. However, she said, when she opened the door to the sauna and pointed the gun at the victim, he flinched in a manner that resulted in the gunshot striking him in a location (between the neck and shoulder) she had not anticipated.
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fight in Virginia Walmart parking lot leads to shot fired

Occurred June 22, 2013.

A fight in the parking lot of a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, led to a shot fired.  Luckily, no one was injured.

From an article:
According to police, one shot was fired around 8 p.m. outside the store on Grassfield Pkwy.  No one was hit by the bullet. 
A NewsChannel 3 viewer says the shooting sent people running and customers were told to move to the back of the store. 
Police are still looking for the shooter.
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pennsylvania man shoots and kills girlfriend with shotgun shells purchased at Walmart

Occurred May 21, 2013.

Gregory Twyman, 44, posted a picture on Facebook of shotgun shells he had purchased at Walmart the week before and announced his plans to kill his girlfriend, in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

The next day, as he planned, he shot his girlfriend, Jamica Woods, several times in the torso with his shotgun.  He then called 911 to turn himself in.

From an article (bolding added):
"Jamica Woods was a kind and loving mother," District Attorney Tom Hogan said in a statement. "This crime was a cold-blooded execution. We will seek justice for Jamica's death."
Woods was killed by several shotgun wounds to her torso.
In Hogan's notice of intent to seek the death penalty, he says Twyman has "a significant history of felony convictions involving the use or threat of violence to the person," an aggravating circumstance in support of a death sentence. 
The day before the shooting, Twyman posted a photo of a shotgun shell he bought at Walmart on his Facebook page. 
A friend asked what it was, and he identified it as a shell, according to court documents. 
The friend said: "I'm calling the ATF on your ass now...LOL...." 
Twyman wrote: "Gon be too late." 
Another friend wrote: "CIA FBI ATF u know snitches be lurking amongst us on here… lol." 

Twyman replied: "Once I handle my business I don’t give a f---!"
Then, on May 21, authorities say, he called 911 and said: "I need the police, I just shot my girlfriend."  
The prosecution's death penalty notice will be formally entered when Twyman is arraigned on Thursday.

From another article and news video (bolding added):
Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan called it a "premeditated and cruel." 
"This was not an argument, this was a pre-planned execution," Hogan said. 
Hogan said that Twyman took his time to reload the shotgun to deliver a second shot. 
Twyman, 44, told police that after weeks of fighting he decided to shoot Woods, 37, with shotgun shells he bought "last week at Walmart." 
Police say Twyman predicted the shooting on his Facebook page. The day before the homicide police say that Twyman made his Facebook profile photo a shotgun shell and the banner photo of his own shotgun, according to the affidavit.
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Police officer shoots and kills child abductor in Oklahoma Walmart

Scene of shooting at Midwest City Walmart Neighborhood Market
Occurred June 17, 2013.

(UPDATED: see below)

Sammie Lamont Wallace, 37, entered a Midwest City, Oklahoma, Walmart Neighborhood Market store, and then abducted a 2-year old girl from a shopping cart, where she had been shopping with her mother.  He then put a knife to the toddler and went to the back of the store, counting down.

Police responded, and when it was clear that the man wasn't backing down and was likely to harm the child, shot him and killed him.

Wallace had a long rap sheet of violent acts, including a shooting, armed robbery, and threats to kill others.

From an article:

A child, 2, was plucked from her shopping cart and held hostage at knife point. The man who took the little girl was identified by police as Sammie Lamont Wallace, 37. Officers said Wallace threatened the child's life and began a countdown in the back of the store. Shoppers and employees were evacuated as police began to negotiate with Wallace, who made unintelligible demands. 
Police officers who responded to the incident just after 3 p.m. first started to negotiate with the hostage-taker in the dairy section of the store, 7520 E Reno Ave. Attempts to talk ended as Wallace began to count and held a knife to the child's body. A Midwest City police officer shot Wallace dead. 
The grocery store reopened Tuesday morning. Twenty-four hours after the incident, there were more questions than answers. 
Midwest City Assistant Police Chief Sid Porter said it's not clear why Wallace targeted a child that he did not know. 
Police have not released the name of the child, her mother, or of the officer who shot Wallace. The child was uninjured, Porter said.

The district attorney and prosecutor says that the officer's actions were heroic and justified, so likely the shooting is ruled as justified.

(a related article and news article, also here)

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UPDATE (7/3/13):  The mother of the girl who was held hostage spoke out about the incident:
"I was literally begging for my daughter's life," Alice Keating told NBC of the terrifying abduction while shopping at a Midwest City store with her two girls, aged 2 and 12, late last month. 
When she turned her back on her children for a second, police say, wanted felon Sammie Wallace snatched her youngest Zoey from her shopping cart and casually began making his escape. 
When Keating realized what was happening and turned to face the man she says he flashed a knife held up to her little girl. 
"He said really quietly, 'Hey little mama, you see this knife?'" Keating recalled. 
"I did not maintain my composure. I was completely freaked out," she said. "I wanted to reach out and grab her but he had a knife. There was nothing I could do but stand there and beg for her life."


Alaskan man shoplifts wiper blades and fires shots in Walmart store

Occurred June 18, 2013.

22-year old Wesley Weinburger was caught shoplifting wiper blades from an Eagle River, Alaska, Walmart store.  When confronted, Weinburger then fired multiple shots and fled.  He was later arrested.

Luckily no one was injured.

From an article:

According to Myren, Weinburger was first confronted by Walmart employees who accused him of concealing a set of $20 wiper blades near the front check-out area. Weinburger allegedly pushed past the employees and ran toward a set of locked entry doors, firing multiple shots. Myren said Weinburger then turned around and ran out of the store through a set of unlocked doors. 
Police using K-9 dogs located some of Weinburger's clothing in a neighbor's yard, and he was apprehended at home a short time later.
According to another article, Weinburger fired the shots in order to break through a locked exit.  Upon getting outside, he apparently took off his shoes and pants for some reason during the getaway.

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North Carolina man wounds four with shooting at and around Walmart

Occurred June 21, 2013.
Scene of shooting at Greenville Walmart

(UPDATED: see below).

A man in Greenville, North Carolina, armed with a pistol-grip shotgun and a bag of ammunition, surprised a man at a law office and shot him, then crossed the street to the local Walmart parking lot and shot three others. 

Police caught up to the man outside a neighboring Toys-R-Us store.  A shootout ensued, and the suspect was shot three times before being taken into custody.

All of the victims and the shooter are likely to survive.

A fast-thinking witness also warned the Toys-R-Us by phone, giving them enough warning for them to lock their doors, just before the shooter attempted to enter the store.

From an article:

The gunman's first target was seated in his car outside the Kellum Law Firm on the city's south side, Aden said at a news conference. The firm's main office in New Bern declined comment. Kellum has nine personal injury offices in the eastern part of the state. 
The suspect crossed five lanes of traffic after the Kellum shooting and injured the three others before he was caught, Aden said. Police are still trying to determine the shooter's identity and motive. He is in police custody at a local hospital, Aden said. 
The victims are all in operating rooms at local hospitals, Aden said. He didn't give specifics on their conditions or their names and ages. 
The shooter was using a "pistol-grip shotgun" with an unknown number of rounds, Aden said. He had a bag filled with ammunition, Aden said. 
"He had enough to really do some significant damage," the chief said. 
Early media reports said the gunman entered the Walmart, but police later confirmed that the shooting took place outside. 
"The gunman never entered our store. It was in the parking lot," Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman Dianna Gee said. "All customers and associates are safe."
(a related article)

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UPDATES (6/27/13):  The shooter has been identified as Lakim Anthony Faust, age 23.  

See HERE for details on the shooting, including that Faust wore a ballistic vest and had 100 shotgun rounds with him.

HERE is more detailed information on the victims and their wounds.

According to the news video below, he had a juvenile record of violence in Baltimore, and had more ammunition in his Greenville home:

Kellum Law firm, site of the first victim, has set up a relief fund for all four victims.

UPDATE (9/27/13):  The shooter, Lakim Faust, chose his victims based on race.  He is now recovering in jail.

UPDATE (4/27/14):  A benefit was held for one of the shooting victims, who is still recovering from his wounds.  From an article and news video:
Leggett was hit by several shotgun pellets during the shooting that took place in the parking lot of the Walmart last June. While some of Leggett’s wounds have healed, we’re told others still require medical attention, and have prevented him from going back to work. That has put the financial burden on his wife and daughter. 
"He had five surgeries in about 2 weeks. He lost his kidney, his spleen, his gallbladder, he's still got a place in his back that's draining, I go every day and change the bandage on his back,” said Amy Leggett, Vernon’s daughter, “So, he's getting back to his daily activities but is still limited on what he can do. His stamina hasn't come back." 
Trial for the suspect in the case, Lakim Faust, has been set for January 20th of next year.
UPDATE (11/17/14):  The shooter, Faust, has been sentenced to 97 years in prison for the shooting.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Armed Robbery at Walmart in Georgia

Occurred June 9, 2013.

According to a crime blotter for Snellville, Georgia, for June 9:

  • Robbery with a gun at a business was reported at 1550 Scenic Highway (Walmart).

But I couldn't find further details.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Police fire on man with realistic-looking toy gun in parking lot of Arkansas Walmart

Occurred June 12, 2013.
Scene of shooting at Springdale Walmart

UPDATED -- See below

Police were called to a report of a suspicious person in the parking lot a Walmart Neighborhood Market store in Springdale, Arkansas.  The man pulled out a black handgun and pointed it at officers, who then fired upon the man.  The shots hit the man's van.

The man then barricaded himself in the van, along with a menagerie of chickens, ducks, and parakeets, until police were able to get him out and arrest him.

From an article:
Springdale Police officers arrested 40-year-old Rainbow Kilo Rasphoumy following a stand-off and officer-involved shooting at a Walmart Neighborhood Market. 
A Springdale officer fired seven shots at the suspect during the stand-off at the parking lot of a Walmart Neighborhood Market, according to Peters. The shots hit the van, but did not injure Rasphoumy, according to the news release.  
Police said Wednesday morning at 7:47 a.m. dispatchers received a report about a suspicious person in a van located at Robinson Avenue and Butterfield Coach Rd.  
When officers attempted a traffic stop, the van pulled into the parking lot of a neighborhood market on Butterfield Coach Rd and Hwy 412. While he was cooperative with officers at first, police said he ran back to the van and barricaded himself inside.  
According to the release, Police used a taser after Rasphoumy tried to kick officers. He then pointed what appeared to be a handgun towards the officers, Peters said.  
The SWAT team and crisis negotiators were called to the scene. After Rasphoumy surrendered, Peters said police discoverd the handgun was a black plastic toy gun.
Officers also found three parakeets, three chickens and two ducks.  
There will be an internal investigation and the officer who fired the shots is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is department policy. 
A related news article with video.

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UPDATE (6/15/13):  More details have emerged on the encounter (bolding added):

Rasphoumy is scheduled to appear in the same court on July 12 for an arraignment to enter a plea. 
Police said he pointed a toy gun at officers June 12 outside the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 3553 E. Robinson Ave. in Springdale before barricading himself in a van. An officer fired seven shots, with each shot hitting the van, police said. 
At 7:47 a.m. on June 12, police said Rasphoumy’s niece called and said he had been outside her home for about an hour. She said the man had mental problems and often bothers her, according to a 911 call. 
Police said she provided a description of his van, which officers later tried to stop at Robinson Avenue and Butterfield Coach Road, authorities said. Police said he pulled into the Walmart parking lot. 
Rasphoumy got out of the van at the officer’s request, according to a police report, but soon became uncooperative and got back in the vehicle. 
Police said he grabbed an object similar to a flute and raised it above his hands as if he were going to hit the officers. The police report states Rasphoumy attempted to kick the officers, and they used a Taser on him, but that did not stop him. 
Rasphoumy pulled what appeared to be a handgun on them, police said. Officers attempted take cover, but while on the move, one officer fired seven shots at the van, the report states. 
Rasphoumy was not hit. He barricaded himself in the van, eyewitnesses said. No one else was in the van, police said. 
Rasphoumy was taken into custody about 9 a.m. after talking with police negotiators, authorities said. 
Investigators told 5NEWS they recovered a black plastic toy gun that resembled a snub-nose revolver, three chickens, two ducks and three parakeets from the van. The birds were all alive, officials said. 
Investigators later recovered a a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, an ax and other weapons from the van, according to police.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Teens shoot realistic-looking BB gun at Walmart employee in Arkansas

Occurred June 6, 2013.

An employee was accosted by two teens in an Arkansas Walmart, both armed with guns.  Fearing for his life, the employee started to get down when one of the teens fired.  Luckily, the guns were realistic-looking BB guns.

The teens were caught, but allowed to leave without reprimand.

From a blog post by the employee:
I was in the sporting good section by myself or so it seemed. As I rounded the corner, what appeared to be a rifle was pointed in my direction. A teenager was pointing a gun at me. I stopped and froze. Then he said something. I did not understand what he said, but I heard a voice reply to him and I turned around to see another teenager with a gun. Both were pointed at me. I started to drop to the ground and one of them shot the gun. Then they both dropped their guns and ran away.  
A Wal-Mart employee came around the corner and asked me if I saw who shot the gun. I nodded and pointed. My heart was racing. I could barely move. I heard the employee ask the boys but they both said they did not do it and SHE LET THEM LEAVE.  
I did find out that these were BB guns.  .... 
*shaking my head* I cannot believe those kids did not get reprimanded or kicked out or anything. They just got away with opening up, taking BB guns out of boxes and then shooting them. 

The employee nonetheless continued to feel troubled by the incident.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Shoplifter threatens employees with gun in Colorado Walmart

Occurred June 4, 2013.

A man shoplifted items from a Walmart in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and then displayed a gun as he fled the store with the merchandise.

From an article:
Police said a man left with merchandise without first paying for it. As he was leaving the store, police said he passed by store employees and displayed a handgun. 
The suspect was described as a white man, 30-35 years old, about 6’2" and 240 pounds with a muscular build. Police said he had a shaved head and goatee and was wearing a long grey collared shirt with blue jeans. 
Police said he left in a white minivan with brown wood grain panel along the sides.
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Shoplifter pulls gun on employees in California Walmart

Occurred April 12, 2013.

Steven Douglas Garron, 29, is accused of shoplifting a t-shirt in a Moreno Valley, California, Walmart.  When loss-prevention officers approached him, he pulled out a revolver and threatened them with it, then fled.

He is now in custody for another crime, an armed robbery at an ATM.

From an article:
Steven Douglas Garron, 29, was first determined to be a suspect in a April 12 shoplifting incident at the Wal-Mart store on Perris Blvd. 
“The suspect stole a T-shirt and when loss prevention officers followed the suspect from the store, the suspect pointed a revolver at them and escaped,” said Sgt. Glenn Williams. 
The same suspect went on to commit an armed robbery on Apr. 26 at a Bank of America located on Fourth St., Williams said. 
“In the early morning hours a customer withdrew money from the drive-through ATM and as the customer received the money, the suspect approached him with a revolver in hand and robbed him of an undisclosed amount of money,” Williams added. 
The investigation revealed the suspect was Perris resident Steven Douglas Garron, who was wanted in connection with other crimes that included spousal abuse and failure to register as a sex offender.
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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Teen carries hidden gun and drugs into Arizona Sam's Club while evading police

Occurred May 29, 2013.

A 17-year old teen and a young man were fleeing police, in Yuma, Arizona, and sought cover inside a Sam's Club store.  The teen was carrying a backpack with a hidden .40-caliber handgun, cocaine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.  They were arrested.

From an article:
According to the Yuma County Sheriff's Office, at about 6:15 p.m., deputies were sent to the area of South Avenue 4½E and East Levee Road after receiving reports that two groups of men had been in a fight involving a weapon. 
One group of men allegedly fled the area inside a white pickup. That truck was spotted by deputies after it had left the levee road west of the confluence near the Yuma Palms Regional Center. 
Deputies initiated a traffic stop on Pacific Avenue, and the driver of the truck, 20-year-old Victor Moreno, complied. He pulled into the Sam's Club parking lot, halting just west of the main entrance.
As deputies approached the truck, they said, Sambrano and the teen leaped out and ran into Sam's Club — the teen reportedly carrying the backpack later recovered by police.  
Four other men in the truck did not flee: Victor Moreno, 21-year-old Corbin Anderson, 21-year-old Cody Trevino and 23-year-old Obed Moreno. 
Sambrano and the teen who fled into the store were found a short time later with the help of Sam's Club security surveillance. They had gone to the clothing area where they allegedly shoplifted new outfits and changed into them in an attempt to evade capture. 
During the search, deputies found the backpack that allegedly contained 38 grams of cocaine, 87 grams of marijuana, scales, packaging material and a .40-caliber handgun.  
A YCSO K-9 unit was used to search the truck. Paris the working dog indicated the possible presence of contraband, leading deputies to reportedly discover 1.3 grams of pot. 
Victor Moreno, Anderson and Obed Moreno were cited for allegedly possessing marijuana and Trevino for allegedly possessing marijuana and allegedly possessing an open container of alcohol. The four were then released. 
The teen was arrested and booked into the Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center for the alleged possession of a dangerous drug and misconduct with a weapon. 
Sambrano was arrested by Yuma police officers for suspected shoplifting and false reporting to law enforcement after allegedly providing false identification to police. He was booked into the Yuma County Adult Detention Center but has since been released. 
The second group of men involved in the fight at the confluence has not been located.

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