2 dead, 2 wounded in shooting at Walmart in Mississippi

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — A gunman fatally shot two people and wounded a police officer before he was shot and arrested Tuesday at a Walmart in northern Mississippi, authorities said.

The gunman was shot by a Southaven Police officer and was hospitalized in unknown condition, DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco told WATN-TV.

Both of the people who died Tuesday morning were Walmart employees, WREG-TV reported. One person was found dead in the store and another found dead in the parking lot, WHBQ-TV reported.

Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto tells WATN-TV the officer was hit in his bulletproof vest and not seriously injured.

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2 dead, 2 wounded after shooting at Mississippi Walmart
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2 dead, 2 wounded after shooting at Mississippi Walmart
Paramedics offer medical attention after a shooting at a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Walmart employees gather in a nearby parking lot after a shooting at the store, Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in Southaven, Miss. A gunman fatally shot two people and wounded a police officer before he was shot and arrested Tuesday at the Walmart in northern Mississippi, authorities said. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Police and employees gather in a nearby parking lot after a shooting at a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Officers and employees gather in a nearby parking lot after a shooting at a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Officers stand at the scene of a shooting inside a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Officers and employees gather in a nearby parking lot after a shooting at a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Employees and law enforcement personnel are are seen in the parking lot after a shooting at a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Employees gather in a nearby parking lot after a shooting at a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Employees gather in a nearby parking lot after a shooting at a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
People console one another after a shooting at a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill) (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Sheriff Deputies walk through the parking lot after a shooting at a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. A gunman fatally shot two people and wounded a police officer before he was shot and arrested Tuesday at the Walmart in northern Mississippi, authorities said. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Law enforcement personnel and employees gather in a nearby parking lot after a shooting at a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Police officers stand outside a Walmart store, Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in Southaven, Miss. Officials say two people are dead and a police officer and a suspect were shot at the Walmart in the northern Mississippi city town, a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)
Medical staff stage outside a Walmart store, Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in Southaven, Miss. Officials say at least two people are dead and a police officer and a suspect were shot at the Walmart in the northern Mississippi city town, a suburb of Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)
Employees gather in a nearby parking lot after a shooting at a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Walmart employees walk at the scene of a shooting at a Walmart store Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Imagen provista por la televisora WREG-TV, en la que se observa a empleados de Walmart unierse a un círculo de oración fuera de la tienda el martes 30 de julio de 2019, en Southaven, Mississippi, después de un tiroteo. (Jerrita Patterson/WREG-TV via AP)
In this image provided by WREG-TV, Walmart employees join in a prayer circle outside the store Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in Southaven, Miss. DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco says one person is dead and a suspect was shot. (Jerrita Patterson/WREG-TV via AP)
This still image provided by WATN-TV shows police and emergency personnel responding to a shooting at a Walmart in Southaven, Miss., on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco said that one person was killed and the suspect was shot. The shooting prompted a sizeable law enforcement response, with officers setting up a perimeter and entering the Walmart Supercenter. (WATN-TV via AP) . MANDATORY CREDIT
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For customers and bystanders, the shooting turned a sleepy early morning into a panic at the Walmart Supercenter in Southaven, a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee.

Carlos Odom, 35, said he usually comes to the Walmart to visit his cousin, who works there, and was leaving at about 6:30 a.m. when he heard more than a dozen shots.

"I just hear gunshots," Odom said. "Pow. Pow. Pow. Pow. Pow."

"When the cops run into the Walmart, you hear more gunshots," Odom said. "After that, it stopped."

Odom said he ran out into the parking lot and later spoke by phone with his cousin, who told him one of the victims was an employee, and the gunman worked there as well.

Phil Cox, 70, said had just bought some nasal spray and was in the parking lot when he thought he heard a gunshot, and then saw a man run into the store. He got into his truck to leave as police began arriving.

"Everything went crazy at that point," Cox said, expressing sympathy for employees. "It's just hard to believe what happened here, but it seems like it's happening everywhere."

The Walmart is in a large shopping complex at a busy exit off Interstate 55 in Southaven, a suburb of 55,000 people which lies just south of the state line from Memphis, Tennessee. A massive police presence surrounded the store Tuesday morning, with a large part of the parking lot blocked off by yellow crime tape. Reporters saw employees gather in a circle and pray after the shooting, as police continued to swarm the scene.

"We're still gathering details ourselves on everything that has happened," Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said Tuesday morning.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company is assisting law enforcement, and plans to release a statement later, he said.

A woman answering the phone at the Southaven Police Department Tuesday morning said "we have ongoing emergencies" and no one was available to provide information.

___

Associated Press writers Jeff Amy in Jackson, Mississippi; and Jeff Martin in Atlanta contributed.

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