Deputies arrest Wyoming man after active shooter report at Hazel - KPTV - FOX 12

Deputies arrest Wyoming man after active shooter report at Hazel Dell Walmart

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Image: Clark County Sheriff's Office Image: Clark County Sheriff's Office
Image: KPTV Image: KPTV
HAZEL DELL, WA (KPTV) -

A gunman who opened fire in a Hazel Dell Walmart Wednesday morning was quickly apprehended and taken into custody as rattled employees and customers were ushered outside by responding officers.

Nobody was injured in the gunfire.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as 35-year-old Shaun Michael Sprague of Wyoming. He was charged with first-degree assault, but investigators have not said what led to the shooting or if anyone was targeted.

James Ancewick was shopping in the store when the shots rang out just before 7 a.m.

“It sounded like a pallet being dropped, it was kind of like a pop,” Ancewick said, adding that he thought that was what happened until he heard more of the banging.

“It was kind of confusing as to what was going on,” he said. “I went up to the front and kind of peeked around the corner and (saw) the employees kind of ducked down.”

Ancewick said he was then ushered to a back “safe room” by store employees. Everyone waited and wondered.

“Everyone there just had a lot of nervous energy, just try not to be too loud, draw attention,” he said. “Everyone was just trying to stay calm. They did a good job.”

A couple miles away, Colby Bell was just getting his day started. His wife was already on her shift as a Walmart manager when Bell said he was stunned when he got a text from her.

“There was a man in the store with a gun,” he said, reading the message. “I heard three shots and we are in lockdown. The police are here and they caught the guy.”

Bell said he dropped everything to find his wife.

“I lost it,” he said. “I almost cried. I threw on my clothes immediately and just started running.”

Dozens of responding officers scoured the store to make sure it was safe and find any remaining people in hiding.

Employees huddled in the parking lot as they made phone calls and answered questions from police. 

When Bell’s wife came out of the store, he ran up and hugged her before the pair left. He said he was grateful nobody was hurt.

“It leaves a way better relief on my chest,” Bell said.

The store was closed for several hours but was open again around 10 a.m.

A Subway inside and another section of the store remained closed while investigators gathered evidence. 

Walmart officials released a statement about the incident.

"This is an awful situation. Thankfully, our associates and customers are safe and no one was injured. We are grateful to our management team for their quick thinking in getting customers and associates out of harm's way, and to the police for their swift action in stopping the suspect."

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