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

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Woman shoots at car in Alaska Walmart parking lot

Occurred November 1, 2013.

(UPDATED -- See below)

Ashley Nelund, 27, shot at an occupied vehicle in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Kenai, Alaska.  Both she and the vehicle occupants fled the scene.  Nelund was later arrested.

Luckily, no one was apparently injured.

From an article:
Ashley Nelund, 27, was arrested and charged with first-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault and second-degree misconduct involving weapons after she allegedly fired multiple gunshots at an occupied vehicle in the Walmart parking lot in Kenai. 
According to a Kenai police press release, multiple 911 calls reporting the shooting were received at about 7:10 p.m. The suspect was reported to have left the area in a red Ford Focus. Officers located the vehicle a short time later at a Kenai residence. Nelund was found outside of the residence. 
According to police, the vehicle that was shot at also left the scene before police arrived. The vehicle and driver have not been located, however, police have contacted a 17-year-old male who was a passenger in the vehicle. 
No injuries from the shooting have been reported.
Walmart.  Save money.  Die faster.

UPDATE (4/21/14):  The shooter, Nelund, has been indicted.  There were two occupants in the vehicel that she shot at, shooting three times and hitting the bumper of the car "to scare" the occupants.  The shooting was over money that Nelund felt she was owed.  She has also been charged for drug charges.  From an article:
At the scene, police spoke to a passenger inside the vehicle being shot at, a 17-year-old juvenile. He told police the altercation started when Nelund approached him and the person he was with about owing her money. The juvenile told police as they started to drive away, Nelund opened fire on the vehicle, according to the affidavit. 
Police located three shell casings from .380 auto pistol in the parking lot in the direction people reported seeing the woman matching Nelund’s description fire her gun, according to the report. 
Law enforcement found Nelund possessed the keys to the red Ford and they found a .380 auto pistol on the grass near the edge of the woods where she appeared. A Kenai Police records search indicated Nelund as the owner of the gun. 
Nelund admitted to police that she fired three shots at the bumper of the vehicle with the intention of scaring the occupants. 
The driver of the vehicle was never located.
UPDATE (8/16/14):  The shooter, Nelund, has pleaded guilty for the shooting.  From an article:

Ashley Nelund, 28, of Sterling, pleaded guilty to misconduct involving weapons in the second-degree, assault in the fourth-degree and attempted misconduct involving a controlled substance in the second-degree. Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet accepted the guilty plea. Sentencing will take place Nov. 25 at 3:30 p.m.
Each Class B Felony carries with it a maximum of 10 years in jail and a $100,000 fine, Huguelet said. The maximum jail time for the assault charge is one year.
Nelund’s defense attorney Dina Cale said in court an agreement was reached with the District Attorney’s office to reduce two counts of assault in the third-degree, a Class C Felony, to fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
The first two charges stem from an incident on Nov. 1, 2013 after Kenai Police allege she fired multiple shots at an occupied vehicle in the Walmart parking lot.
UPDATE (11/27/14):  Nelund was sentenced to seven years in jail.  Since being arrested, Nelund has given birth to a baby and was pregnant during the shooting.  From the article:
During his argument for the state’s sentencing recommendation, which Judge Charles Huguelet ultimately adopted, Leaders focused on the severity of Nelund’s crime. He said the community needed to use Nelund as an example to others who might be capable of similar violence.
“This is not New York City, this is not L.A., this is not even Anchorage. We don’t have this type of random violence in the Walmart parking lot … this is a very serious incident for the community, the Kenai Peninsula area,” Leaders said. “It warrants a strong sentence.”
Cale framed the situation differently. She said Nelund, who was pregnant during both the drug deal and the shooting, was suffering from mental illness and had gone off of her medications upon becoming pregnant.
During the drug deal, Cale said Nelund had been trading the heroin for suboxone, a detox medication that is used to treat opiate addiction.
“She was self-medicating with what she thought was a better option than heroin,” Cale said.