Wyncote, PA – Six people were injured at a Walmart store on Tuesday night, after a man opened fire during an argument in a check-out line.
The incident began just after 6 p.m. at the Cedarbrook Plaza Shopping Center Walmart, Cheltenham Police Chief John Frye told the Associated Press.
“Words were exchanged” between customers standing in separate check-out lines, at which point the 30-year-old male shooter grabbed a gun from the waistband of a woman he was with and fired “at least 10 shots,” Chief Frye said.
Dozens of shoppers were inside the store when the gunfire and chaos erupted, WPVI reported.
“We didn’t know if the shooter was in the store,” said Jaynee Davis, an off-duty nurse who stopped to help one of the shooting victims. “We were petrified.”
Rachel Suarez was in the store with her 12-year-old son, Nicholas, when shots rang out.
“Everybody ran…It was just tons of people losing shoes, I’m running over shoes, people screaming,” Suarez recounted.
“I was scared out of my life,” Nicholas said. “I just didn’t know what to do.”
Two women and one man were shot in the legs during the incident, the Associated Press reported. Another person was grazed by a bullet, and a fifth individual was taken to a hospital for unspecified injuries.
A pregnant woman who had fallen during the incident was also taken to the hospital, Chief Frye said.
The gunman sped off in a gold 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix as police descended upon the scene, WPVI reported.
According to police, the gunman tossed his weapon out of the getaway car before he slammed into the back of a police vehicle that happened to be in in the area responding to an unrelated call.
The collision sent two police officers to the hospital with minor injuries.
After he was placed under arrest, the suspect allegedly kicked and spit at the officers while they wrestled him into a transport vehicle.
The unnamed shooter also tried to kick out the windows of the patrol vehicle, and was tased by police before being transported to Einstein Medical Center.
WPVI reporters later spotted the suspect as officers were walking him into the Cheltenham Police Department.
“I’m sorry, man,” the shooter told WPVI. “I thought somebody was going to kill me.”
According to Chief Frye, the gunman was “definitely on some type of drugs,” the Associated Press reported.
“It was a good job by Philadelphia police who happened to be at the right place at the right time,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told WPVI. “They made this arrest initially thinking they were arresting somebody for trying to leave the scene of an auto accident and then realizing it’s a much more serious crime, a triple shooting.”
Police subsequently arrested the 25-year-old woman the shooter obtained the weapon from.
“We are relieved that an arrest has been made and thankful that injuries sustained by three of our associates and a customer are non-life threatening,” Walmart said in a statement on Tuesday night, according to WPVI. “Local authorities acted quickly and did an outstanding job. Our focus remains on supporting our associates and continuing to assist law enforcement.”
The shooting victims are expected to make a full recovery, WPVI reported.
It was unclear whether the individual the shooter was arguing with was one of the shooting victims.
A total of 22 police departments and eight emergency medical services agencies assisted with the incident.