Motive Unknown in Walmart Shooting That Killed 3 People


The man who Thornton police say allegedly opened fire on a group of people at a busy Walmart Wednesday evening is now in custody.

Thornton Police spokesperson Victor Avila said during a news conference Thursday morning that what ensued was "mass chaos" as people ran out of the store. The incident took lives of two inside the Walmart while a woman was injured who was then taken to hospital but later she also died, Thornton Police Department said on Twitter.

Coroner Monica Broncucia-Jordan said Thursday that 52-year-old Pamela Marques, 66-year-old Carlos Moreno, and 26-year-old Victor Vasquez died in the shooting. Police said Ostrem walked into the south doors at the Walmart located at 9900 Grant St. around 6:10 PM Wednesday and "nonchalantly" began firing.

A motive for the shooting was unknown.

SWAT officers who helped with the arrest did use a "flash bang" to distract Ostrem, Avila said.

A citizen tip led police to the apartment.

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While investigators have no idea why the man started shooting, they did say the shooting is not known to be an act of terrorism.

"Detectives now reviewing security footage & witnesses being interviewed for assistance with the suspect (s)", police said on Twitter. However, a Thornton PD spokesperson did refer to the shooting as a heinous act. Authorities used security video to help identify the suspect.

According to Aaron Stephens, a witness who spoke to the Denver Post, he was in the self-checkout line when he heard a single shot fired, followed by more bursts of gunfire. The victims were in the same area of the store, but it is unclear if they knew each other.

Customers and employees hid or fled toward the exits after gunshots rang out in Thornton, a suburb of Denver.

An hour later, the Thornton Police Department tweeted, "At this time this is not an active shooter".