A witness recounted the dramatic finale of a shooting outside a Walmart in Duncan, Oklahoma, on Monday that left three people dead.
Aaron Helton, a local resident, told reporters on the scene that he was in the store parking lot with his girlfriend in the morning when he heard nine rapid-fire gunshots and saw three bodies on the pavement. He said he watched another man exit a car and unholster a pistol.
“I went to jump out but instead another guy had already jumped out, and went over and had his gun drawn and put it up to the shooter’s head and told him to stop,” said Helton. “Shooter shot himself.”
“He just stopped him, and the guy submitted right away. [The shooter] said, ‘I’m done,'” Helton added. “I’d like to know who the other guy was who had the gun.”
According to Helton, who said he is an Army veteran, the shooter was a white male with brown hair, “normal guy.” He was also armed with a handgun, Helton said.
Video of the scene showed heavy police presence around a car riddled with bullet holes in the Walmart parking lot. A white sheet, covering what appeared to be a body, was laid next to it, with blood stains visible on the ground.
The bodies of one woman and one man were found inside the car, with another dead man found outside the car, the Duncan Police Department said on Facebook. A handgun was found on the scene, police said.
The shooter was among the dead, the Duncan Banner newspaper reported citing police.
Aaron Helton and the Walmart shooting
Duncan is a town of roughly 22,000 people located about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City.
The incident came the day after another shooting in Fresno, California, that saw at least four killed as people gathered in a backyard to watch a football game, with at least one shooter still unaccounted for.
California was also hit by a school shooting in Santa Clarita last week in which a 16-year-old boy shot and killed two classmates before turning the gun on himself, and a San Diego shooting on Saturday that saw a man kill his estranged wife and three of their young sons before killing himself.
In August, a man killed 22 people at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart and injured 26 others. He is accused of deliberately targeting Mexicans and has pleaded not guilty.
In July, a Walmart employee killed two co-workers and injured a police officer.
Walmart reassessed the security of its stores, adding third-party security or uniformed off-duty police officers at times, following the El Paso shooting and another at a Mississippi Walmart in which an employee shot and killed two colleagues.
In September, following the El Paso shooting, the company said it would no longer sell .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber ammunition that is often used the sort of rifles with large-capacity clips that have been a major factor in some of the nation’s deadliest mass shootings.
The store also asked its customers to no longer openly carry weapons into their stores in states that allow the open carrying of firearms.
Asked by a reporter if the shooting concerned him, “especially with what’s going on nationwide,” Helton said, “No.”
“We got a good community. We got a lot of good people in our town,” he said. “This is just one of those things that just happened out of the blue. It ain’t like a normal day thing.”
(Reporting by Maria Caspani and Brad Brooks in New York; Additional reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; editing by Scott Malone and Lisa Shumaker; Pluralist contributed to this report.)
- Aaron Helton speaks to reporters at the scene of a shooting at a Walmart in Duncan, Oklahoma, on Nov. 18, 2019.: Facebook