Louisiana Walmart evacuated after gunfire erupts inside; police say dispute between customers led to innocent bystander being shot

Published 2:24 pm Tuesday, August 6, 2019

A fight between two customers at a Louisiana Walmart store escalated to gunfire, causing panic inside the store and an innocent bystander to be shot, police report.

East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said just before noon Tuesday police received a 911 call about a “possible active shooter” at the Walmart located on Burbank Drive at Bluebonnet.

Law enforcement swarmed the store and a heavy police presence was seen outside the store.

Gautreaux said the store was immediately evacuated, but investigators are not treating this as an active shooter situation because it simply was a fight between patrons in which personal handguns were drawn.

The innocent bystander, who was standing in a checkout line trying to buy a child’s lunchbox, was shot twice.

One person was taken into custody and the second subject, who fled the area in a light-colored sedan, is being sought.

“We constantly train for it,” Gautreaux said. “We do it year-round with active shooter response and everybody knows what their roles are. This to me showed that all the training we’ve done with other agencies, fire department, EMS, other law enforcement agencies is working.”

The nation remains on edge after two mass shootings — one at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, last week killed 22 people and another in Dayton, Ohio, killed 9 people. A Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi last week was also the location of a shooting, though police believe it was perpetrated by a disgruntled former employee who was recently ir