A Monday morning shooting in the southern parking lot of Duncan Walmart left three dead, authorities say.
The isolated shooting, which resulted in the deaths of the two victims and the gun wielder, was contained to the southern side of the parking lot. Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said the call came in at 9:53 a.m. and police were on scene one minute later.
The victims were a male and female, who where inside a car, and the suspect was found dead outside the car, apparently having shot himself, according to Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford.
“It appeared several rounds were fired into the car and a handgun was found on scene,” Ford said.
He said they were not ready to release the names of those involved because they were still working to notify next of kin.
Ford also said the motive was unknown and that it appeared the two victims knew each other, but couldn’t confirm how the suspect was involved with the pair.
Ford clarified all shots were outside only and none were fired in Walmart.
Reports came in that a fourth individual approached before the suspect fired upon himself, but Ford only said: “There was a person there that had drawn a weapon that was an outsider but had not approached the individual.” Ford couldn’t confirm if that’s when the suspect shot himself or not.
He said they’re actively reviewing surveillance footage and had talked to witnesses.
According to Ford, witness statements also corroborated how the shooting took place.
“At some point the shooter did walk up to the car but we aren’t sure when, we don’t know if initial shots came from on the ground walking up to it or maybe from another vehicle,” Ford said.
Ages of those involved aren’t readily available, though all are above 18.
Ford said the weapon was a semiautomatic handgun, but couldn’t confirm the caliber. He also said there were too many rounds fired to confirm where the victims were shot.
Ford couldn’t confirm how many shots were fired, but said, “I can account just visibly for nine.”
No other bystanders were hurt and Ford said it was unclear if the suspect had a violent history.
Ford said they’re now going to wait for the main investigators on scene to bring in more information.
“OSBI technicians will be working the scene, the M.E. (Medical Examiner) I understand … is on scene now, evidence is being gathered as we talk,” Ford said. “We’ll proceed from there.”
He said they’ll continue taking witness statements.
A motive was not readily available and Ford said he couldn’t answer if the suspect had planned the shooting.
“Hard question, I have no idea what is going through his head,” Ford said.
One of the victims was or had previously been a Walmart employee, according to Ford. Ford said the two victims were in the Money Center of Walmart at one point before the altercation. It is unknown at this time if the suspect followed them, but police said the suspect wasn't in the store.
Ford said when tragedy like this happens, it affects the community.
“It’s regrettable,” Ford said. “Obviously there’s not much you can say to families who have this kind of loss, except we’re sorry. The other thing is I think the community … some of the churches are already responding, which I think is a good thing. I think the community will do all it can to at least help in this situation.
With the history the last several years, it has a lot of impact,” Ford said. “It makes people very fearful, it makes people wonder what’s going on. It’s a change in the community. We’ve gone a while without a real major incident like this. It puts everyone on edge, puts the schools on edge, hospitals, businesses, puts everyone on edge. I think we need to get as much information as we can. That’s the reason we’re being methodical with the investigation.”
District Attorney Jason Hicks wanted to emphasize the shooting was isolated.
“Understand that this is very, very preliminary, the investigation is, we’re just in the early stages still learning information all the time,” Hicks said. “I do want to make sure the community understands this appears to be an isolated incident … I think it went out this was an active shooter at Walmart … I want to make sure everybody understands there was at no time anybody inside Walmart, anybody threatened inside the business. I want to make that crystal clear. This happened in the parking lot and appears to be an isolated incident between the three people involved.”
Sheriff Wayne McKinney said it was important that when something like this happens, the correct facts get out to the public.
“It is a sad day for our small community and our county. But I can’t reiterate anymore that getting the facts of this story with what actually happened, not speculation (is important),” McKinney said. “All it does is panic our community. When the 911 call came out this morning, there was a mass response of law enforcement, that’s the way we’re trained. We got there … found out what it was and knew the citizens weren’t in danger at that time.”
City Manager Kim Meek asked if the public would keep the privacy of those related in mind.
“This is a sad day for Duncan and I ask everyone remember that the family is grieving and will be grieving for a while and that we give them as much privacy as we can,” Meek said. “Duncan is a wonderful city, we will pull together and we will take care of our own. Just recognize their need for privacy.”
An employee said they were working outside when it happened.
“All I saw was — I saw the gun, I heard some popping, turned around and saw the gun and rushed inside,” the employee said, agreeing to speak under terms of anonymity.
Ford will make a statement later on when the investigation wraps up that will include more details. The Banner will update as more becomes available.