|Scene of shooting at Midwest City Walmart Neighborhood Market|
(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)
Walmart. Save money. Die faster.
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."