“First, let me assure everyone that there’s no immediate threat to the community right now,” Beavercreek police Capt. Scott Molnar said late Monday night during a media briefing.
A gunman around 8:35 p.m. entered the store at 3360 Pentagon Blvd. and began firing shots, he said.
“He injured four victims, who were all transported to area hospitals for treatment. The conditions of the victims is unknown,” he said.
The shooter died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the captain said.
A CareFlight medical helicopter left around 9:50 p.m. for Miami Valley Hospital, and three other victims were taken to Soin Medical Center - Kettering Health in Beavercreek. The Greene County Coroner’s Office responded just before 10:30 p.m. to the scene.
An employee reported hearing at least two shots but did not see anyone hit.
“I thought it was glass at first. I heard a couple people running and screaming so I darted out and we got to the Burger King parking lot,” the worker said.
One witness described the shooter as a tall young white guy carrying a rifle who reportedly walked by her before he opened fire, she said in a video posted on X, formerly Twitter, that was recorded outside the store.
Wright State University students Anna Cowley and Kailie Conley said they watched and counted as between 30 and 40 cruisers with lights and sirens pulled up outside Walmart.
“We were grabbing a bite nearby,” Conley said. “We were like ‘What’s going on?’
“The parking lot was flooded (with police cars),” she said. “There was police dogs that were running in, a bunch of cops running in … It was a lot, especially with how many how cops did show up.”
Walmart is a place where Wright State students, including the two young women, shop frequently. Cowley had been at Walmart earlier in the day.
“This is crazy thinking that literally less than five minutes away is where we live and where we stay every day, and that could happen at any time to us. Like they could have went to campus and not a Walmart,” Cowley said.
The two checked in with their friends at Wright State, all of whom were safe.
The university on Monday night issued a campuswide alert for students and staff to stay away from the Beavercreek Walmart for an “active incident.”
Law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions responded to the store, where police could be seen inside on the grocery side. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are all assisting Beavercreek police with the investigation.
Walmart issued the following statement Monday night:
“We’re heartbroken by what’s happened at our Beavercreek, Ohio, store. This remains a developing situation, and we’re working closely with investigators on the scene.”
The company directed all questions to local law enforcement. Beavercreek police they will release further information Tuesday morning.
The Beavercreek Walmart is the same store where 22-year-old John Crawford III of Fairfield was shot and killed Aug. 5, 2014, by a Beavercreek officer. The officer-involved shooting followed reports from a 911 caller that Crawford — who was talking on a cellphone and holding a pellet gun for sale at the store — was pointing a weapon and threatening shoppers.
The store was temporarily closed after Beavercreek police said a 15-year-old boy set a fire Nov. 6 inside the business. Staff and customers reported flames in the craft section and smoke through the store, which was evacuated.
The fire was contained by the automatic sprinkler system and extinguished quickly by firefighters, the Beavercreek Twp. Fire Department said.
The store reopened Nov. 8, the same day Beavercreek police arrested the teen who now faces felony charges of aggravated arson, vandalism and inducing panic.
“We are thankful for the swift action of first responders Monday night and for our associate’s work to get the store ready to reopen for the community Wednesday morning,” Walmart stated earlier this month.