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2 police officers shot, suspect dead in Walmart shooting in Arkansas

Gunman dead, 2 officers hurt in Walmart shooting in Arkansas

(CNN) — A man who opened fire and shot two police officers in a Walmart in Forrest City, Arkansas, on Monday morning is dead, Mayor Cedric Williams told reporters.

Witnesses said the suspect was “talking out of his mind” at the time of the shooting, Williams told reporters.

The officers were responding to complaints that a man was threatening people when the man pulled out a gun and shot both officers, St. Francis County Sheriff Bobby May told CNN affiliate WHBQ.

The shooting occurred on the grocery side of the store, Forrest City Police Chief Deon Lee said at the press conference.

The officers who responded to the incident, Lt. Eric Varner and Detective Eugene Watlington, were not wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting, Lee said. He added, as Forrest City Police detectives, they were not required to wear police vests fitted with body cameras because their division does not require it, he said.

Varner was treated at Forrest City Medical Center after the incident and was released, Lee said. Watlington was transported to Regional One Health in Memphis and went into surgery, he added. Varner’s prognosis is that he’s doing well and is expected to be fine, according to Lee.

Forrest City is located along I-40 between Little Rock and Memphis, Tennessee and has a population of about 14,000 people.

Arkansas State Police have taken over the investigation of the incident.

“The prayers and thoughts of the ASP (Arkansas State Police) are with the two Forrest City Police Officers that were injured this morning in a shooting at the Walmart store, located in Forrest City,” state police said. “The Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division has been requested to conduct an investigation of the incident, and will be on the premises throughout the day.”

Walmart’s director of national media relations Scott Pope said the company was working with police in the investigation.

“As this is an active investigation, any additional questions should be referred to the Forrest City Police Department,” he said.

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