On Wednesday night, an unidentified gunman “nonchalantly walked in” to a Walmart in the Denver suburb of Thornton, Colorado and opened fire on a group of people near a cash register. According to the New York Times, police then recounted how the suspect — who is described as a “middle-aged white man in a black jacket” per security footage recovered from the scene — promptly walked out of the Walmart and fled the scene in a red Mitsubishi Mirage. CNN reports the shooter killed three people — two men and a woman — though whether or not anyone else was injured isn’t clear.
“It’s random as of right now,” Thornton Police Department spokesperson Victor Avila told the press late Wednesday. “The person came in and just shot toward a group.” Authorities received the first reports of gunfire at around 6:10 p.m. local time, and the Walmart parking lot was subsequently flooded with police activity. “This is a very heinous act,” Avila added during the press conference. “It was certainly a terrible act.” Witnesses who spoke with the Times and CNN recalled hearing “six or seven gunshots” just before “customers began screaming” and stampeding for the exits.
Thornton Police released an image of the suspect taken from security camera footage inside of the Walmart, as well as two shots of his escape vehicle.
UPDATE — 6:24am local time: Thornton Police have identified the suspect as 47-year-old Scott Ostrem, who is still on the loose.
UPDATE — 8:20am local time: Thornton Police arrested Scott Ostrem roughly 14 hours after he walked into a Walmart in a Denver suburb and gunned down three people. Aside from announcing the arrest, however, spokesperson Victor Avila offered no other details regarding the suspect or the investigation into Wednesday’s deadly shooting.
As this is a developing story, we will update this post whenever new information becomes available.