Two men and one woman are dead after a shooting at a Walmart in Thornton, Colorado. The suspect is not in custody, according to police.
“Witnesses indicated there was an adult male that entered through that southern doorway and just randomly began shooting into a group of people,” Thornton police spokesman Victor Avila told reporters at a late-night news conference.
“From the witness accounts, he nonchalantly walked in to the front of the business through the south door, and just raised the firearm and began firing,” Thornton said.
He then nonchalantly walked out. The shooter was armed with a handgun.
“As we’ve determined it was random, right now,” Avila said.
Police released an image of the wanted man for circulation on social media.
Police responded around 6:10 p.m. local time to a report of multiple shots in the store, about 10 miles north of downtown Denver.
Two men were killed on the scene, according to the Thornton Police Department’s Twitter account. The third victim – a woman – was transported to the hospital, where she died. No other injuries were reported.
“At this time this is NOT an active shooter,” the official account stated. “Active crime scene. We will update as info becomes available.”
At the news conference Wednesday night, Avila said police are currently looking for a Caucasian male wearing a black jacket, maroon shirt, and blue jeans.
The suspect was also seen in a red Mitsubishi Mirage.
The police spokesman said investigators do not yet know whether the three victims were together. “They were in the same area, whether they knew each other we don’t know.”
Witnesses at the big box store described confusion and fear breaking out as the shooting started.
Guadalupe Perez was inside with her son Erick. “We were just renting movies, and we just heard this popping noise,” Perez told Reuters. “Then I turned around and I just see all the people walking falling down because they were really scared.”
Jay Quawrn Thompson, an 18-year-old Walmart employee, was working the back of the store when he hear the shots. “A lady came running back, screaming about the shots,” Thompson told the Denver Post. “I got her out.”
“I immediately froze because I didn’t know what to think or what was going on,” Aaron Stephens explained to CBS 4. “Then I heard two more shots, and then I hit the ground because I didn’t know if there were going to be bullets flying. And then I hear three more shots and I got up ran out as fast as I could. I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, it’s Las Vegas happening at Walmart in Thornton.’ And I freaked.”
According to Fox 31, 48 witnesses from the shooting were taken by bus from the crime scene to the police department
Police had yet to identify the victims.