LOS ANGELES, — Three people were killed Wednesday evening in a shooting inside a Walmart supermarket in Thornton, a Denver suburb in the U.S. state of Colorado. The suspect is still at large.
Thornton Police Department initially announced around 6:30 p.m. (0030 GMT, Thursday) that “multiple parties” were down in the shooting.
An hour later, they tweeted that “at this time this is not an active shooter” and then confirmed two adult men were dead and a woman was killed in the fatal incident.
In a video clip posted online, an employee of the Walmart told local KWGN TV that he heard probably five or six shots at least.
“Everyone got down, everyone started screaming, it was crazy!” he said.
Denver 7 news channel cited a Homeland Security official as saying that it is yet to know any terrorism links at this time. Meanwhile, police also told local KGW8 channel that they had no idea about the murder’s motive but “the shooting is not known to be an act of terrorism.”
Five hours after the killing, local police released more information about the incident, saying the suspect had fled the scene in a red Mitsubishi car after his heinous act.
Thornton police spokesman Victor Avila was quoted by the Denver Post as saying that a gunman wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and a maroon shirt walked into the south entrance of the store and began shooting a handgun randomly.
The three victims were all in the same area near the front of the store, Avila said, adding that the shooter said nothing when he opened fire at the supermarket.
The shooting incident triggered a new wave of advocate for gun control on social media.
A user named NyxSea tweeted, “this is how mass shootings have become normal in the US. When I read that there was 1 death #ThorntonWalmartShooting I said thank God.”
“Thank God it was only 1 death, There should be no death #ThorntonWalmartShooting. What to do about guns?” he retweeted three minutes later.
“Thanks to @NRA lobbyists and lawmakers beholden to them, THIS is what America looks like. THIS is every city, every day,” tweeted Shanon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots organization working to end gun violence.
“Why does this shit keep happening. And even in my home state. Why is Colorado known for shooting?” another user named Karlie tweeted.
The state of Colorado witnessed a mass shooting in July 2012. Twelve people were killed and 59 others injured in Aurora, a suburb 10 miles (16 km) east of Denver, where a heavily armed gunman burst into a packed theater and sprayed the audience with bullets.
According to the non-profit organization Gun Violence Archive, there have been 299 mass shooting incidents so far this year in the United States. Also on Wednesday, two people were shot dead near a college in the Manhattan borough of New York City.
An estimated 30,000 Americans die each year from guns, and the country is split on whether to have controls on guns or follow the 1789 Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Xinhua-northboundasia.com