A Colorado man who shot three people dead at a Walmart store in Thornton was a hostile loner who lived by himself with barely any furniture save a stack of Christian Bibles, the Daily Beast reported on Friday.
To his neighbors, wrote Carol McKinley, Scott Ostrem was a “bizarre, angry man who lived alone in an apartment with a stack of Bibles and virtually no furniture.”
On Wednesday, Ostrem walked into a Walmart store, pulled out his handgun and shot three people dead who were unfortunate enough to be standing in line by the door.
Marlena and Jason Fobb told McKinley they were checking out after buying a new vacuum cleaner when they heard the shots. Leaving their credit card in the reader, they fled to the in-store optometrists’ area and hid with five other people, including a baby.
Marlena Fobb said that she peered out of the hiding place and saw Ostrem striding around with a look “like the devil. He was hell-bent on killing people.”
Two male victims died at the scene and a woman died after being transported to a hospital. McKinley said, “The Adams County Coroner identified the victims as 52-year-old Pamela Marques of Denver, 66-year-old Carlos Moreno of Thornton and 26-year-old Victor Vasquez of Denver. Vasquez was the father of two daughters with another child on the way.”
Some of Ostrem’s neighbors in the Littleton apartment complex where he lived simply knew him as “the angry man upstairs.”
Teresa Muniz said, “He never said hello. No one ever came to visit him and I thought that was strange.”
He was particularly hostile, she added, to Hispanics.
“He wouldn’t say nothing to us, but he talked to the only white couple who lives here,” Muniz recalled. “I don’t understand where that hatred comes from.”
Another resident who saw inside Ostrem’s apartment during his arrest said, “There was hardly any furniture in there except a TV, a lawnchair and a table. He slept on blankets on the floor.”
There was a stack of five Bibles on the floor and five more stacked on the table, the neighbor said.
Ostrem had always been strange, Muziz said, often wearing a full karate “gi” outfit, carrying a bow and a quiver of arrows and — three times per week — lugging a heavy, Rubbermaid storage tub up and down the stairs.
Muniz said her boyfriend joked that Ostrem’s container was full of body parts.
“Police say Ostrem had a ‘minimal’ criminal history including a resisting arrest charge in 1999 and one for driving under the influence in 2003,” McKinley reported. “Ostrem filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after he started an electronics business that failed after a year and a half.”