A man has been shot dead in Texas after taking two co-workers hostage at a Walmart in the city of Amarillo, officials say. The motive is believed to be related to a workplace dispute and there is no known link to terrorism.
The incident began just after 11 a.m. CT on Tuesday when the suspect, who has been identified as 54-year-old employee Mohammad Moghaddam, entered the store on Canyon Drive and fired at least one shot into the ceiling.
“Responding officers from multiple agencies arrived at the store and entered. No further shots were fired after the initial shot,” police spokesman Jeb Hilton said. He said a SWAT team carried out a search of the store and saw a hostage emerge from the manager’s office at 12:20 p.m.
Officials initially thought only one person had been taken hostage, but when they entered the office they saw a second hostage with the suspect. “The suspect was still armed with a handgun and was a threat to the hostage and the officers. Two SWAT officers fired shots which hit the suspect,” Hilton said.
Moghaddam was killed instantly and both hostages were escorted out of the building, after which they were examined by paramedics but were found not to have sustained any injuries.
“[The] investigation indicates that there was a dispute between him and management over a promotion. The first hostage taken was the manager that was involved in the dispute,” the spokesman said. He provided no information about the identity of the second hostage.
Other details about the dispute were not immediately available, but police rejected reports that suggested there was a link to terrorism. “There is no indication that this had anything to do with terrorism or the shooting that happened over the weekend in Orlando,” Hilton added.
A large number of police units were at the scene during the incident and people were asked to stay away from the area.
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