A gunman today walked into a Walmart store in Colorado and opened indiscriminate fire, killing three persons including a woman before fleeing in a vehicle, police said.
Ostrem "nonchalantly" entered the store in Thornton, about 10 miles (16 km) northeast of downtown Denver, and opened fire on shoppers and employees shortly after 6 p.m. (8 p.m. EDT) on Wednesday, police spokesman Victor Avila told reporters.
Two men and a woman were killed in what officials said was a "random" shooting.
A lone suspect was identified by police as 47-year-old Scott Ostrem.
Thornton Police said Wednesday night that the motive for the shooting remains under investigation.
A Walmart security photo of the suspect Scott Ostrem.
Court records show a resisting arrest charge against Ostrem was dismissed in 1999.
Avila says police went to the apartment and didn't find Ostrem.
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Police say the three victims who died, were the only people who were shot during the incident.
This meant they couldn't send a Walmart employee into the store to immediately review surveillance footage, since police still had to secure the scene and make sure it was safe. However, a Thornton PD spokesperson did refer to the shooting as a heinous act.
Thornton police spokesman Victor Avila said Thursday that 47-year-old Scott Ostrem had a minor criminal history, but Avila didn't elaborate.
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.
Police are asking anyone with information about Ostrem's whereabouts to come contact authorities.
After an hour of fire, Thornton Police tweeted that the place is out of danger now when the Walmart was surrounded by police and fire crews.
He said at this point, customers started screaming and running for the exits.