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Greenville police shoot suspect in Walmart, law office shootings

Posted June 21, 2013
Updated June 22, 2013

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— A man armed with a shotgun wounded one person at a Greenville law firm Friday before crossing a busy street to a Walmart, where three more people were shot and wounded, police said.

Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden said officers found the suspected gunman outside the store and exchanged gunfire with him near the entrance, wounding him several times.

All four victims and the suspect were undergoing surgery Friday afternoon at Vidant Medical Center, and their conditions weren't known.

"It does appear to be a fairly straightforward, horrific active-shooter incident," Aden said.

The incident started just before noon at the Kellum Law Firm, at 205 Greenville Blvd. Southwest.

In addition to a shotgun, the gunman had multiple rounds of ammunition in a satchel, Aden said.

"I personally saw multiple shotgun rounds. I don’t know how many but enough to do significant damage," he said.

Investigators haven't yet determined if the shooting spree was random or if any of the victims were targeted.

The incident was over within a matter of minutes, and Aden praised the quick response of his officers.

"If we had responded the way police used to respond to active shooters, we would’ve had more victims," he said. "The way we train now is, literally, the first officers on the scene go to the threat. That’s exactly what they did without regard for their own safety. They went right for the threat, engaged it and neutralized it.

"I’m glad to see they came out of it unscathed and prevented further horrible violence." Shooting spree outside Greenville Walmart Shooting spree in Greenville leaves five wounded

Justin Lawler said he was working at a fireworks stand outside when he saw the shooter.

"He did not care who was in his way," he said. "Anyone who was in his way, he shot them."

Lawler also saw the police response.

"They all drew their weapons," he said. "I heard him shoot his gun like twice, then it was like full on 40 or 50 shots and it didn't break."

Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas praised the quick work of the officers.

"How big a difference did that make by the officers coming in and engaging the shooter? It saved a lot of lives here today," he said.

He added, "There was a lot of ammunition on this individual. There was a lot of harm being intended here in Greenville."

Police had the law firm and its parking lot, as well as a large section of the Walmart parking lot, cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape Friday afternoon as they investigated the shooting spree.

Greenville Boulevard, Hooker Road and Landmark Street intersections were closed to traffic for about five hours as police investigated the shootings.

The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the case, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.


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  • Plenty Coups Jun 21, 2013

    "Excuse me but did this perp have a handgun? Didn't think so! That makes the handgun whiners points irrelevant."

    If it makes you feel better yankee, shotguns and assault rifles aren't subject to background checks either if you go online to Armslist.

  • Gork Jun 21, 2013

    Yankee or whatever - you're read "a number of studies"? I am surprised - and skeptical...

  • Grand Union Jun 21, 2013

    "Grand Union: private ownership of guns is not allowed in Japan; yet some person went into a school with a sword and killed some kids. Criminals will find a tool to use if they want to kill; it aint the guns that is the problem, it is the people using them illegally!"

    Japan has a murder rate 1/10 that of the US! No one is suggesting that getting rid of would give perfect safety but why on earth would anyone want to keeps guns when they are responsible for almost 3/4 of US murders. Every year 12000 EXTRA americans die because of them, thats a 911 every 12 weeks!

  • yankee1 Jun 21, 2013

    Excuse me but did this perp have a handgun? Didn't think so! That makes the handgun whiners points irrelevant. I love the mental illness comments. There have been a number of studies that claim that liberals actually have a chemical imbalance thereby creating a mental deficiency. I guess that means that all liberals should automatically be denied permits, right?

  • westernwake1 Jun 21, 2013

    Plenty Coups - Thanks for the links on House Bill 937

  • gnewsome1 Jun 21, 2013

    Kuds to the officers. Good police work.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 21, 2013

    Gork--" disregarding the obvious point that a gun in the wrong hands resulted in 4 people being shot, but that wouldn't have supported your cause, would it?"

    To say nothing about House Bill 937 which would eliminate anybody knowing if somebody was mentally ill when they purchased a handgun online from Armslist.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 21, 2013

    westernwake-"Exactly which state Senate or House bill is proposing this? I have not seen anything in the legislative list that strives to do away with background checks or paperwork for handguns in North Carolina."

    House Bill 937 passed both the House and Senate. It would eliminate the necessity of having a pistol permit to purchase a handgun. This effectively would eliminate background checks as they were part of the process.



  • alleycats Jun 21, 2013

    "Pistol purchase permits would be eliminated. Currently, in order to buy a handgun, whether from a licensed dealer or a private individual, North Carolinians are supposed to obtain a pistol purchase permit from their sheriff (or hold a concealed handgun permit). In order to get that permit, residents undergo a background check."

    "Under the Senate version of the bill, you would either need a concealed handgun permit or have to submit to a criminal background check if you buy a handgun from a licensed dealer. However, private sales of handguns, as often occur at gun shows, would no longer require a pistol purchase permit, and there would be no background check requirement. Those are the same rules that apply to rifles and shotguns."


    According to the above, private sales would no longer require a permit.

  • Gork Jun 21, 2013

    "Good job LEOS,guns in the right hands deter the mentally unstable that have them same as a homeowner with protection." -
    disregarding the obvious point that a gun in the wrong hands resulted in 4 people being shot, but that wouldn't have supported your cause, would it?