Police in Colorado on Thursday have arrested a gunman who calmly walked into a Walmart in suburban Denver and opened fire with a handgun, randomly shooting at shoppers and store clerks, killing three people, before he fled.
The suspect “nonchalantly” entered a Walmart in Thornton, Colorado, and opened fire a little after 6 p.m. local time on Wednesday and then walked out, got into a red four-door hatchback and drove away, Thornton Police Department spokesman Victor Aliva told reporters, citing witness accounts.
The Thornton Police Department released an image of the suspect, who they have identified as Scott Ostrem. After the shooting, he was still at large, but police have had since arrested him.
The shooting appears random and there are no indications that it was an act of terror, Avila said.
“This is a very heinous act,” Avila said. “We don’t know exactly what the motive of the person was, but it was certainly a terrible act.”
Two men died inside the Walmart, which is about 16 kilometres north of Denver in a busy shopping centre. The woman died later at a hospital.
Authorities did not immediately release any other information about the victims.
WATCH: 2 people killed in North Dakota Walmart shooting
Aaron Stephens, 44, was in the self-checkout line when he heard a single shot followed by two more bursts of gunfire before people started running for the exits.
“The employees started screaming. Customers were screaming. They were running like crazy, and I ran out too because I didn’t want to get killed,” he said.
Guadalupe Perez was inside the store with her young son when she heard what she thought was a balloon popping. A Walmart employee told her someone was shooting, and then Perez saw people running away yelling, “Let’s go. Let’s go. Leave the groceries.”
“You see all these things in the news and you go through it, it’s scary,” she said. “But thank God we’re OK and nothing happened to us.”
Investigators, including special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were reviewing security video and interviewing witnesses to identify the suspect. Avila said police don’t yet know how many rounds were fired.
Ragan Dickens, a Walmart spokesman, said the company is working with investigators and declined further comment.