Police: Heroic actions kept shooter from doing more harm

("Police Line/Police Tape" by Tony Webster, CC BY 2.0)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Police in Indiana said Friday that heroic actions by a Walmart employee and law enforcement officers kept a gunman who shot and injured one female employee from doing more harm.

The woman was the only person injured late Thursday when 25-year-old Ronald Ray Mosley II walked into a store break room where employees were meeting, specifically aimed at the victim and shot her in the face with a 9mm handgun.

Sgt. Anna Gray of the Evansville Police Department said officers were within the building within four minutes of the 911 call, and Mosley was shot and killed by officers who tracked him down shortly thereafter. They were assisted by Vanderburgh County sheriff’s deputies. No officers were injured. There were about about 40 employees and 40 shoppers in the store at the time.

After the shooting, a male employee — whom Mosley was also targeting — ran out of the room, and Mosley followed him. Another female employee saw that Mosley had fled the room and called 911. She then ran back into the room to get the victim, take her into another room, locked the door and turned out the lights before Mosley returned looking for the wounded woman.

Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin called the employee a hero and credited her with saving the victim’s life.

“I have no doubt that he was going back to finish what he started and we would probably have a dead victim today instead of one that’s alive,” Bolin said during a press conference Friday.

Bolin also said that Mosley left a suicide note and intended to die that night.

Gray said investigators did not yet know when Mosley acquired the handgun he used in the shooting.

The shooting was not the first criminal incident involving Mosley at the store. He was fired from the store after being charged with four misdemeanor counts of battery on May 18, 2022, after he attacking four co-workers. A probable cause affidavit filed in the case states that Mosley told police he had issues with people at work and “lost control.”

The case was eventually deferred to Vanderburgh County’s mental health court.

He had pleaded guilty to the battery charges and was complying with mental health treatment through the court, Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Diana Moers said. Mosely had in fact appeared for a progress hearing on Thursday afternoon, just hours before the shooting.

Walmart, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant, said in a statement that the “entire Walmart family is shocked by the senseless violence that occurred at our Evansville store, and our hearts are with our associate at this time.”

The company said in a separate statement that it does not discuss personnel matters involving current or former employees, but said that Mosley “has not worked for Walmart since May 2022.”

Indiana has a “red flag” law, which legislators passed in 2005 and allows police or courts to seize guns from people who show warning signs of violence. However, after the May incident at the store, red flag court proceedings were not initiated against Mosley, according to Winston Lin, chief deputy prosecutor for the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s office, said Friday.

Evansville, a city of around 116,000 residents along the Ohio River, is about 170 miles (275 kilometers) southwest of Indianapolis.

A Walmart manager in Chesapeake, Virginia, killed six people in November when he began shooting wildly inside a break room before a routine employee meeting, two days ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Six people were also wounded. The gunman shot and killed himself before officers arrived.

 

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