Two people were killed and two others injured after the Walmart shooting in Southaven, Mississippi.
The suspect was identified as Martise Abram, 39, who is a former Walmart employee. He is charged with two counts of manslaughter, and more charges may follow when he is released from a hospital in Memphis, according to Desoto County attorney John Champion. Champion said: “I think we have our man.”
A source close to the investigation said that Abram was suspended and fired from his job.
Champion said Abram had previously brought a knife to Walmart and showed it to an employee, but said the police had only caught up with reports. He said it did not appear that Abram had a previous criminal history.
Champion said officers found more weapons during the investigation. He said that the weapon Abram used was legally purchased. A source confirmed that the suspect lives in Southcrest Lake Apartments in Southaven. WREG went to this location and saw the officers in the apartment. A neighbor said he watched football with the suspect, whom he knew as “Tees.” “He’s scary.” A neighbor said, “I just talked to him in passing, like back and forth when he got home from work or something else. He looked really cute, cool and calm.
According to the Southaven Police Department, the dispatch began receiving calls from an active shooter at the store located on 6811 Southcrest Boulevard around 6:30 a.m. The callers even said that the alleged suspect set fire to an interior of the store. When the officers arrived six minutes later, approximately 60 employees were still inside the building.
The officers began to search for the shooter in the store and parking lot. They finally located him in the parking lot when one of the responding officers was shot. Police said the bullet hit his bulletproof vest, saving him from serious injury.
At that point, another officer opened fire on Abram and hit him twice. He was taken to the Regional Medical Center, where he underwent surgery. Two Walmart employees were killed during the shooting. The Desoto County Investigator identified them as Brandon Jalis, 38, from Hernando and Anthony Brown, 40, from Olive Branch. Brandon Gallis’ father said that his son left behind three children. He said his son grew up at Hernando, and was a manager of a Walmart business for 15 or 16 years.
The accident prompted employees to flee the scene to a nearby car park at a safe distance. Some of them gathered in a circle to pray to those who were injured or killed, while the police conducted interviews with others. Hours after the accident, two of them were transported from the scene in an ambulance. It is not clear if they were injured, overheated, or in shock. Shelby County Bomb Squad has been called in to clear the scene after a suspicious parcel was found at Walmart.
Champion confirmed that a fire also broke out inside the children’s section of the store. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has been called in to handle the portion of the investigation’s shooting of the officer while the Southaven Police Department will handle the other criminal aspects of the case. WREG’s Melissa Moon spoke to several people who were inside the store at the time of the shooting, including Agent Carlito Odom who was there to see his cousin. “Just come and see it every morning. By the time I was walking out of the building, all the staff ran in front of me and I just heard gunfire, so I ran with the crowd. I thought about it,“ Let me call my cousin. ”He didn’t answer about six or seven times. His cousin at the end. Odom described this as a “rest” moment. “I just went and talked to him so he made me feel a little better, but he was really shocked. … It’s just a real crazy situation.” Another employee’s family told WREG that she was in the parking lot and saw her boss hit the suspect. She claimed that the shooter pointed the weapon at her and told her that she would be next. She was able to escape from the suspect and go into hiding.
Walmart President and CEO Greg Foran issued a statement saying, “The entire Walmart family is grieving over the loss of two important members of our team. We personally feel such tragedies, and our hearts break for the families of our partner and the injured officer. We feel relieved that the suspect has been arrested, and we appreciate the prompt response of the local authorities. And our partners. We will continue to focus on assisting law enforcement in their investigations and supporting our partners. ” Champion estimated that his office handled 20 murders in Desoto County this year