2 Officers Injured And Suspect Dead After Shooting Incident At Wal-Mart In Phoenix Suburb
CHANDLER, Ariz. – 24-year-old Mitchell Oakley was killed in a shooting incident that took place Saturday at a Wal-Mart in suburban Phoenix, after he opened fire at two officers.
According to Chandler police, the officers were responding to a call about a trespasser. Oakley was recognized by a Wal-Mart employee as someone who had been ejected from the store in the past. The employee called police around 6:30 a.m.
When officers arrived, they encountered Oakley at the front of the store at 1175 S. Arizona Ave, just past the greeters’ area.
Police Chief, Sean Duggan, gave details of the encounter stating that as the officers approached, they were shot multiple times within a matter of seconds. “A seemingly routine call turned into a deadly encounter within a split second,” he said.
According to witnesses, the suspect opened fire at the first officer as soon as the officer entered the store.
The second officer was also shot as he was in close proximity. However, he was able to return fire. Both officers were wearing bulletproof vests. It is not known if the first officer discharged his weapon or not.
Both officers were reported to be in stable condition. However, one of the officers required surgery. The names of the officers were not released as their out-of-town family members had to be informed first.
The suspect died in the incident.
“I guess you can call it what you want. It sounds like an ambush to me,” said Tyler.
After the incident, the Wal-Mart Supercenter remained closed. The store is open 24 hours. It is not known how many people were in the store at the time of the incident, but there were shoppers.
One of the customers present in the store, Cynthia Ayala, happened to be on the other side of the store in a dressing room. When she heard the gunfire, she didn’t realize what she had heard at first. She thought it was like pallets falling. “I never thought it would be gunshots,” said Ayala, butwhen the shots came one after the other, it became apparent they were gunshots. “I was just really scared as to where they would fall,” she said.
According to police, Oakley was a transient but he had family in the Chandler area.
Oakley’s mother was reached for comment by phone, but she declined. She did not give her name, but identified herself as Oakley’s mother.
News Source: www.CTPost.com