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

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Walmart stores see an increase in shootings for at least the third year in a row

Shootings at Walmart stores have increased for at least the third year in a row.

Here at the Walmart Shootings blog, I have dutifully chronicled every media report of gun crimes committed at Walmart properties.  In 2014, there were at least 92 shooting incidents, leaving 16 people dead and 42 injured.  This is up from 2013, where there were 83 shootings, leaving 24 killed and 42 injured -- an increase of over 10%.  In 2012, there were "only" 53 shootings.

There are entire countries that have fewer shootings than just Walmart stores in America!

Of course, these represent only those shooting incidents which were reported to the police, then reported by the media in a way that it was caught by Google Alerts or to friends who alerted me.  Likely there were some that slipped through.

See the graph, to the right, which shows the shooting reports in a cumulative fashion over the course of all three years.

But there were also plenty of gun crimes where shots weren't fired.  There were 78 armed robberies and shopliftings by gunmen at Walmart properties.  Gunmen threatened shoppers and employees with guns, carjacked shoppers, and had accidents with their guns.

Walmart remains the largest retail seller of civilian guns in the world.  But in at least 19 incidents this year, guns were stolen from their display cases at Walmart stores, including assault rifles, like this case in Memphis were nine assault rifles were stolen, or this case in Tennessee where six assault rifles and another gun were stolen.

Walmart continues to allow customers to carry concealed or openly-displayed guns in their stores.  Does this make customers and employees safer?  Not at all.  In 2014, people with conceal carry permits caused 11 incidents, including many shootings of themselves and others, including the most recent case of a very pro-gun mother who allowed her two year old to get into her special gun-purse and fire the unsecured weapon, killing the mother in front of the toddler and three of her other children. 

There were four cases ruled as self-defense at Walmart stores.  But before the gun guys jump on these as evidence of making us "safer," consider that one of these cases was during an illegal drug sale. Another was by a man who got into an argument and shot the unarmed victim as he walked to the car, fearing that the other man was going for a gun.  He got off by using Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which only requires a person to claim they were afraid.  In a third case, the victim was also unarmed, and the two men had gotten into a fight, and the shooter had continued the confrontation prior to shooting the other man.  Only one case involved a man who was simply minding his own business and shot at an armed robber, after the robber was fleeing.

And it's not just Walmart shoppers who are endangered, threatened, and killed by gunmen at their stores.  Walmart employees have been the victims of incidents in at least 14 incidents in 2014, plus many other robberies.  In at least three incidents, Walmart employees were the suspects in shootings!

Where are Walmart's priorities?  Is it gun sales?  Or is it the protection of their shoppers and employees?  Clearly, they aren't interested in the safety of those who are in their stores!

Walmart bans all sorts of things in their stores that they deem "dangerous," including pregnant Barbie dolls, CDs with unwanted lyrics, and various books.  They stopped allowing paring knives in their bakeries after a single incident.  This Christmas, they even kicked out some high schoolers who were caroling in the store!  But Walmart has no problem continuing to sell guns, including five different models of assault rifles, and allowing people to carry guns through their stores.

Perhaps thinking about all of this, one sensitive Walmart employee refused to process a wedding photo for a couple posing with their shotgun.  Oh, never mind....  A Walmart spokesman quickly told media that the employee had been "misinformed."

With so many shootings and other gun crimes at their stores, it's not surprising they are trying to hide it from stockholders, refusing to bring up the issue in any official manner or at stockholder meetings.  We wouldn't want to allow blood on the store floors to distract from gun profits, would we?  Little wonder, then, that a major stockholder had to sue Walmart for the right to bring up the gun issue at stockholder meetings.  If the deaths of shoppers and employees aren't enough to convince the Waltons to change their pro-gun policies, perhaps money will?

This is why Walmart's motto "Save money. Live better" isn't appropriate.  Instead, it should be.....

Walmart.  Save money.  Die faster.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Shoplifter threatens Walmart security guard with gun in Philadelphia

Occurred January 10, 2015.

A man went into a Walmart store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and shoplifted a 50" TV.  When security confronted him, he threatened them with a gun, then fled.

From an article:
In a brazen armed robbery, a suspect walked into a 24-hour Wal-Mart located at 1675 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd. in the city's Pennsport neighborhood around 1:55 a.m., grabbed a 50-inch television and headed for the exit, police said.
A store security guard stopped the suspect before he left the store, which is just north of Pier 70,  but the man pulled back his shirt to reveal a weapon tucked into his waistband -- all while other shoppers were nearby, authorities said.
The suspect then fled the store in an unknown direction.

Walmart.  Save money.  Die faster.

Man shot and injured in homicide attempt at Philadelphia Walmart store

Occurred January 9, 2015.
Scene of shooting at Philadelphia Walmart (screenshot source)

A man and his brother had arranged to meet another person in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  When the other person arrived, he exited his car, walked to the passenger side of the waiting men, and opened fire, hitting the passenger multiple times in the chest, arm, and leg, before fleeing.

From an article and news video:
The 26-year-old victim was shot about 75 feet from the front door of the Walmart. The store was open at the time, and police say it's lucky there weren't more injuries.

"When the shooting took place, this Walmart was open for business," said Chief Inspector Scott Small. "There were customer cars in the parking lot, there were several customers in the Walmart, there were about 20 employees in the Walmart."

"We're very fortunate there was no one else injured and no one was struck by stray gunfire," Small continued.

Small said the shooting was recorded by store surveillance cameras.

He said it shows the gunman getting out of the driver's side of his vehicle and walking to the passenger side of another car, where the victim was sitting.

"Somehow the door opened on the victim's vehicle - the passenger front door - and shots were fired," Small said. "You can see the flash of the weapon and the shots being fired and then the victim's vehicle fleeing the scene."

Investigators say the victim had arranged to meet a person who may have owed him some money.

Because this was a pre-arranged meeting, and because it was all caught on surveillance video, police are pretty confident they know who they're looking for.

The victim had been shot in the chest, arm, and leg.

Police say the victim's vehicle was being driven by his brother, who drove the victim to Holy Redeemer Hospital in Abington Township after the shooting.

That's where police first learned of the shooting, after hospital workers alerted police about a gunshot victim.

The victim was later transferred to Temple University Hospital in guarded condition.
Walmart.  Save money.  Die faster.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Man threatens Walmart security with handgun in Florida

Occurred January 6, 2015.

54-year old Stephen Bruno was seen putting a set of bed sheets into his cart at a Walmart store in Ocala, Florida.  Loss prevention employees followed him as his shoplifted them out of the store to his vehicle in the parking lot.  When they confronted Bruno, the man showed them a handgun he had tucked into his waist, with his hand on the weapon.  The employees then backed away and he pushed the cart with the sheets at them, then drove away.

After his later arrest, Bruno claimed that he had been replacing the sheets with others and didn't want to wait in the customer service line, and that he "the wind" had inadvertently exposed his gun.

From an article:
Two loss prevention officers at the store at 2600 SE 19th Ave. Road, Ocala, told Ocala police officer Andrew Ritz on Tuesday they saw a man with a receipt in his hand pick up a tan sheet set and place it in a cart, which contained other items. He pushed the cart to customer service and waited about a minute and left the store with the sheet set, which they thought he taken without paying for it, a report states.
Store officials followed the man, Stephen Bruno, 54, outside and identified themselves as loss prevention officers and asked him to come inside. They said Bruno ignored them and began loading items from the shopping cart into a green Honda minivan, the report notes.
They said they insisted Bruno accompany them inside and he pulled his shirt back and they could see a firearm in his waistband. They said he put his hand over the firearm and told them he was not going with them and threw the sheet set into the shopping cart and pushed it toward them, the report states.
Fearing Bruno might use the weapon, the loss prevention officers said, they left the parking lot and he got into the vehicle and drove away. ....

Bruno said the wind was blowing his shirt around so he held his shirt down next to the firearm. He said he wasn’t sure if his hand was over his firearm or not, but he did tell them he was not going inside.
Bruno was arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail, from which he has since been released on $60,000 bond.
Walmart.  Save money.  Die faster.

Walmart employee shot to death in his car at Chicago Walmart

Occurred January 8, 2015.
Scene of fatal shooting at Chicago Walmart (source)

(UPDATED -- See below)

A male employee of a Walmart store in Chicago, Illinois, was found shot several times in his car, in the parking lot.  No suspect has yet been caught.

From an article:
Police are investigating a fatal shooting in the parking lot of a Walmart in Bedford Park, near the border with Chicago.

Bedford Park police said they responded to a 911 call and found an unresponsive male shot several times in the front seat of a vehicle. A Walmart spokesperson said the victim is a Walmart associate.

The victim was taken to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, where he died.

The parking lot is cordoned off, but the Walmart at 7050 S. Cicero remains open.

Bedford Park police and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force are investigating. There is no suspect in custody.
Walmart.  Save money.  Die faster.

UPDATE (1/10/15):   The victim has been identified as Stephen Sims, age 20.

UPDATE (3/15/15):  The victim, Stephen Sims, had previously lost his mother, 5 year old stepbrother, and stepmother in two other incidents of gun violence.  From an article:
In 1998, Stephen Sims, 20, lost his mother to gun violence in Roseland. In 2013, he lost his 5-year-old brother, Sterling, and his stepmother to an armed robbery after the family refused to hand over their belongings.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Kansas Walmart robbed by gunman

Occurred January 4, 2015.

A man entered the Walmart store in Westwood, Kansas, presented a gun, and robbed money from a checker before fleeing.

From an article:
Westwood police say the suspect was armed when he robbed the store at 4701 Mission Road about 6 a.m. Sunday.
Officers said the man made a small purchase and demanded money with a gun. No one was hurt, but the man did get away with cash. 
He left the scene in a small, silver SUV.

Walmart.  Save money.  Die faster.

Guns stolen from Arkansas Walmart on day after Christmas

Occurred December 26, 2014.
Scene of stolen guns at Helena Walmart (source)

On the day after Christmas, thieves entered the Walmart store in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas (Walmart's home state), while the store was closed for business.  There they smashed a display case with a hammer and stole four guns, as well as some electronic goods, and fled.

The article does not state what kind of guns were stolen.  Walmart sells assault rifles and hunting rifles.

From an article and news video:
Police report several guns were taken as well as a number of iPods, iPads and iPhones.
The store, on Shelia Street in Helena-West Helena,  is usually opened 24-hours but it was closed Christmas and wasn’t scheduled to re-open till 9 a.m. the following day.
It’s believed the break-in happened just after 2:00 a.m. on the 26th.
Eli Moore, who shops at the Walmart regularly, is very concerned even though the burglary happened while the store was closed.
“I come out here and shop at Walmart all the time, you know. My wife told me, ‘you don’t need to go out there at night.’ So, with this happening here it’s got me scared to come out here now,” said Eli Moore.
According to Helena-West Helena Police, a glass display case in the sporting goods section was smashed and four guns were taken.
In the electronics section two cases were broken, and police reportedly found a hammer and drops of blood near the shattered glass.

Walmart.  Save money.  Die faster.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Woman threatens Walmart shopper with gun in Tennessee

Occurred December 29, 2014.

A man was shopping at a Walmart store in Maryville, Tennessee, when he had an argument with a female shopper who accused him of intentionally bumping into her daughter.  The man continued shopping, but upon leaving the store, the woman drove up to him, brandished a handgun, and threatened him with it before fleeing.

From an article:
The 33-year-old man told police that he became embroiled in an argument with another patron near the general merchandise entrance of the store.
He described the person with whom he quarreled as “a short blond woman with a tattoo somewhere on the left side of her body.” He said the woman accused him of intentionally bumping into one of her daughters.
A Walmart employee overheard a portion of the exchange, and told police she heard the tattooed woman yell, “Let’s take it outside,” at the man.
After the quarrel, the man returned to his shopping errand with his female friend. They were soon joined by one of her family members, who served as a witness to the rest of the evening’s events.
Upon departing the store, the trio were approached by the tattooed woman once again. This time, she drove up in a black Toyota RG4 SUV (license plate: M75 82B), according to reports, and brandished a handgun in the direction of her perceived nemeses.
Witnesses said the woman yelled at the threesome as she wielded the gun, “I don’t call the cops; I take care of my own problems!” And with that, she drove away, reports said.
Walmart.  Save money.  Die faster.

Man robbed at gunpoint of expensive diamond ring at North Carolina Walmart

Occurred December 30, 2014.

A man had arranged on Craigslist to sell a very expensive diamond ring and meet the buyers in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Spring Lake, North Carolina.  He was waiting for them in the parking lot when two men arrived and robbed him of the ring, at gunpoint, then fled.

One of the robbers, Patrick Dewayne Flanagan, 19, who is also a felon, was captured, along with the ring and a 9mm handgun.  The other robber, Tony D.L. Adams, 20, is still on the run.

From an article:
The holdup occurred in the parking lot of the Spring Lake Walmart around 1:15 p.m. Monday. Authorities said the victim agreed to meet two other men to sell a diamond engagement ring, valued around $3,200.

As the man waited for the pair to show up, police say Patrick Dewayne Flanagan, 19, opened the passenger door, held the man at gunpoint and took off with the ring.

Police said the driver, 20-year-old Tony DL Adams, dropped Flanagan off prior to the meeting. Adams drove away in a gold Ford car.

Police found Flanagan nearby, off Pinetree Lane. They said they recovered the ring and a 9mm handgun from him. Flanagan was arrested and charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy and possession of a firearm by a felon. He is currently in the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $75,000 bond.

Police are still searching for Adams, who is a person of interest in several other recent Spring Lake robberies, including another Craigslist meet up that occurred on Friday afternoon along Main Street. Adams is also facing robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy charges.

Spring Lake Police Chief Troy McDuffie reminded residents to use caution in performing online transactions. Although the victim met the suspects in a public area, during daylight hours, there are some other precautions to take, said McDuffie.

"It's probably also good to bring somebody with you and always watch your surroundings," he said. "I think this particular person was sitting in his vehicle waiting for someone to show up and before he knows it, the person opens up the door and holds him at gunpoint. So you have to watch your surroundings."
You might also want to avoid Walmart stores.

Walmart.  Save money.  Die faster.

Gunman robs Walmart in North Carolina

Occurred December 30, 2014.

A man entered a Walmart store in Greensboro, North Carolina, armed with a gun, and robbed the money center there, then fled.

Luckily, no one was harmed.

From an article:
A man walked into the business, located at 121 W. Elmsley St., about 11:20 a.m. today armed with a gun and handed a note to an employee, said Susan Danielsen, police spokeswoman.
The man got an undisclosed amount of money and fled through the grocery side of the store, she said.
Since 2013, Greensboro has seen two other armed robberies by gunmen at Walmart stores.  See HERE and HERE.

Walmart.  Save money.  Die faster.