Gunman kills 3 in brutal Walmart shooting; suspect in custody

The suspect is believed to be a white male.

Several people were killed in a shooting inside a Walmart, forcing customers to either hide in the store or frantically run for the doors, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Thornton, Colo. CREDIT: AP Photo/P. Solomon Banda
Several people were killed in a shooting inside a Walmart, forcing customers to either hide in the store or frantically run for the doors, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Thornton, Colo. CREDIT: AP Photo/P. Solomon Banda

Three people are dead and a manhunt is underway after a gunman opened fire in a Walmart in Colorado early Wednesday evening before leaving the building.

According to multiple news reports, the shooter “nonchalantly” walked into a Walmart superstore in Thornton, a Denver suburb, with a firearm at around 6:30 p.m. He began shooting indiscriminately, killing two men and a woman. The identities of the victims are unknown at this time.

“I was just picking up my last item and about to head towards the checkout,” a witness told a local Fox News outlet. “Heard two slow pops that sounded like they were coming from the front checkout area and then started to run as about four more shots rang out a little faster. At that point everyone was just running and screaming.”

A police officer told reporters that not much is currently known about the shooting or the culprit, who exited the store and has not been found.

“The shooting happened inside the store,” said officer Victor Avila. “We believe as of right now that the shooting was random.”

“He walked in very nonchalantly with his hands in the pockets, raised a weapon and began shooting. Then he turns around and walks out of the store,” Avila told the Denver Post. “From what we have right now it appears to be random. It’s a crazy world we live in.”

Authorities said Thursday morning that they were seeking Scott Ostrem, 47, who is considered “armed and dangerous.”

The Thornton Police Department tweeted out footage of the suspect, a white male believed to be Ostrem, who has also been identified by local reporters:

Police are asking anyone with information about Ostrem’s whereabouts to come contact authorities.

“Let’s get this guy as soon as possible,” said Avila.

The shooting comes a day after a man in New York City allegedly killed eight people on a Manhattan bike path before police officers were able to apprehend and take him into custody. Early last month, 546 people were injured and 58 killed when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on a concert in Las Vegas, Nevada.

One bystander near the scene on Wednesday, Manny Colmenero, told the Denver Post the shooting was eery in light of the violence and mass shootings that have dominated the news in recent years.

“You see this stuff everywhere now,” said Colmenero.


UPDATE: According to reports, the suspect has been taken into custody by police. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.