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US airman shoots one Walmart employee dead, wounds another before killing himself: police

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A U.S. airman apparently shot two Walmart employees early Tuesday at a store in Grand Forks, North Dakota, killing one of them, before fatally shooting himself, police said.

It was not clear what, if any, connection the airman, who police identified as Marcell Willis, 21, had to the workers or the store.

Willis was on active duty at the nearby Grand Forks Air Force Base, police said.

Willis apparently shot the workers shortly after entering the store early Tuesday and fired at, but missed, a third Walmart employee, then turned the gun on himself, police said in a statement. A handgun was found near his body.

The third person was hospitalized in satisfactory condition after the shooting, Altru Health System said in a statement.

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Many other customers and workers at the store, which is open 24 hours a day, took shelter or fled when the shots were fired, police said. Officers reached the store within four minutes of the first emergency calls reporting shots fired.

One witness who spoke with WDAZ Television said he heard “popping sounds” in the store and when he left the building later, saw a Walmart employee covered in blood.

Officers immediately entered the store to stop the threat, render aid and evacuate customers and workers. Police said there did not appear to be any further threat to the public.

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Grand Forks police said they planned to release on Wednesday the names of the Walmart employees who were shot.

The Air Force said its Office of Special Investigations was working with Grand Forks police on the incident.

“We are deeply saddened about this situation and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Walmart said in a statement.

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(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York and David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Bill Trott and Eric Walsh)

Watch a report on the incident, as posted online on Tuesday, below.


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