Three people died in what looks like a random shooting at a Thornton, Colorado Walmart, and police have begun a manhunt for the killer. The public information officer told the media that the man seemed nonchalant as he entered the store, calmly fired his weapon at a group of people, and then drove off in a red Mitsubushi Mirage:
A manhunt is underway for a gunman who killed 3 at a Denver-area Walmart. A man walked into the store and started shooting people at random pic.twitter.com/vzpFXryibw
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 2, 2017
Police spokesman Victor Avila said a man nonchalantly entered the store and fired a handgun into a group of people before fleeing in a car. No one has been arrested.
“This is a very heinous act,” Avila said. “We don’t know exactly what the motive of the person was, but it was certainly a terrible act.”
The spokesman said there is currently no indication that the shooting was an act of terror.
Police and news media are calling this “random,” but that’s just an assumption at the moment. For that matter, so is the dismissal of terrorism. Most terrorists would have continued shooting, but then again, so would most random shooters, too. Until police know more about the victims and the suspect, they won’t know whether anything ties them together for a more specific motive. Working assumptions may prove correct, or may expire suddenly as more evidence comes in, so be careful of premature conclusions.
Police have a clear view of the suspect from Walmart’s formidable security surveillance systems:
Walmart shooting incident, person and vehicle of interest, remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers 720-913-7867 pic.twitter.com/PFNbEALpbG
— Thornton Police Dept (@ThorntonPolice) November 2, 2017
ABC interviewed the mother of one witness who escaped out a side door during the shooting, and gave a more detailed description of the suspect:
Police said they are looking for a middle-aged man wearing a black jacket, maroon shirt and jeans, who nonchalantly walked in the front door of the Walmart and opened fire with a handgun, randomly targeting people in the front of the store near the registers. He then exited the store, got into a red Mitsubishi Mirage and drove away from the scene, police said after reviewing security footage from the store.
The suspect appears to have slipped away, and police have offered no more details so far this morning. We’ll update as developments warrant.
Update: Police have identified the shooter as Scott Ostrem and issued a nationwide APB:
Thorton police identified the suspect as Scott Ostrem, 47, issuing a a nationwide extradition homicide warrant for him. Ostrem allegedly walked into the Walmart in Thorton, a suburb north of Denver, just after 6 p.m. Wednesday and “nonchalantly” opened fire at the crowd of shoppers, according to police. Two men and a woman were killed.
It didn’t take long for the APB to have its effect:
— ABC News (@ABC) November 2, 2017
Perhaps we’ll get a few answers about the motive now … or maybe just find out that he’s stark raving mad.