Police Respond to Possible Hostage Situation at Texas Walmart

Walmart / AP
June 14, 2016

Police in Amarillo, Texas, shot and likely killed an armed suspect who was holding at least one person hostage at a local Walmart on Tuesday.

The Randall County Sheriff’s Office said around noon local time that authorities were responding to reports of an armed suspect holding at least one hostage inside the Walmart. Later, the Amarillo Police Department said that the suspect had been shot and was "apparently dead." Hostages inside were safe, police said.

"One or more hostages were taken by a male suspect inside the store. APD and officers from other agencies responded and entered the store, and APD SWAT officers also responded," the police department said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "At 12:22 PM, an APD SWAT officer came into contact with the suspect and shot him. Initial information is that a hostage or hostages are safe, and no one is injured except the suspect."

The incident was believed to be a "workplace violence event," authorities said. The Special Crimes Unit is currently leading the investigation. The suspect’s name has not been released.

"Officers from RCSO and several other law enforcement agencies are currently on scene with an armed subject at the Walmart on Georgia and I-27," the Randall County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post just before noon local time, citing reports that the subject inside the store may have hostages.

Later, the sheriff’s office confirmed that an individual inside the store was armed with a gun and holding at least one person hostage.

"We do consider this a work-place violence situation at this point," the Sheriff’s office wrote in another Facebook post.

There were also reports of shots being fired, though no injuries were confirmed by police.

All agencies, including a SWAT team, were on the scene responding to the situation.

Police urged residents to avoid the area and said that authorities would provide updates. Authorities also closed neighboring roads to traffic pending the investigation.

This post will be updated as further information becomes available.