|Location||Thornton, Colorado, U.S.|
|Date||November 1, 2017 |
c. 6:10 p.m. – (MT; UTC−07:00)
9901 Grant Street
Thornton, Colorado 80229
On November 1, 2017, a shooting occurred at a Walmart Supercenter in Thornton, a suburb of Denver, Colorado. It was reported to have begun at 6:10 p.m. MT, resulting in three people killed. There was a nationwide manhunt for suspect Scott Ostrem, 47. Ostrem fled in a red Mitsubishi Mirage. Witnesses said he had casually walked into the store and randomly began shooting at people.
Just before 6:30 p.m. MT, Thornton police tweeted there were "multiple parties down" and instructed people to avoid the area. Just before 8:00 a.m. MT, Ostrem was arrested in Westminster near 72nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard, less than 10 miles (16 km) from the location of the shooting. A phone call to police led to his capture.
Scott Ostrem shot at people using a handgun. Ostrem applied for chapter 7 bankruptcy in September 2015. He was arrested 14 times in Colorado. The last time was in 2013 for driving under the influence. He accumulated a credit card debt of $58,000. Ostrem lived by himself in a one-bedroom apartment. Neighbors said he cursed at them. He was occasionally seen carrying a rifle bag to and from where he lived. Ostrem never worked at Walmart. The cameras spotted Ostrem leaving Walmart in the same calm manner he had shown when he entered. Ostrem unexpectedly took off from his job as a sheet metal worker at a roofing company hours prior to the incident.
Ostrem's stepsister said he suffered brain damage from taking LSD almost 30 years ago and has heard voices in his head since then. She said his personality quickly changed following a drug party. She said Ostrem did not get treated from any mental health professional.
Carlos Moreno, 66, of Thornton, Victor Vasquez, 26, of Denver, and Pamela Marques, 52, of Denver died as a result of the incident. Moreno and Vasquez died at the scene, while Marques was transported to a local hospital, where she subsequently died. No Walmart employees were injured as a result of the incident. All three families of the people who were killed have asked for financial assistance online via crowdfunding sites. The Walmart reopened its doors on November 5, 2017. While many shoppers were inside the store, some of them remained outside to give their condolences to the deceased, and to leave messages for the survivors.
Officer Victor Avila explained that the aftermath of the shooting was "mass chaos," as numerous people rushed out of the store.
The motive for the killing is not known. Police spokesman Victor Avila said there is no evidence that the incident was an act of terror, saying "We don't know exactly what the motive of the person was, but it was certainly a terrible act."
Ostrem was placed in the Adams County jail. Ostrem was set to appear at Adams County District Court at 11 a.m. MT on November 3, 2017. A prosecutor said on November 3, 2017 Ostrem may face multiple charges, in addition to first-degree murder charges resulting from the killings of three people inside Walmart. Adams County District Attorney Dave Young said the additional potential charges are being considered because numerous people were also inside Walmart when Ostrem was shooting inside the store on November 1, 2017. Young did not comment when questioned by reporters regarding a motive for the incident and whether authorities were contemplated hate crime charges, as the three individuals killed were Latino, while Ostrem is white. The courtroom reached its 90-person capacity. At least three people at the court hearing were family members. They declined to talk to reporters following the hearing.
Ostrem was charged with murder and attempted murder on November 6, 2017. District Attorney Dave Young told Denver7 on November 6, 2017 it was too soon to determine if he'd pursue the death penalty, but said he'd talk to the victims' families prior making a decision. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 8, 2018, delayed due to a question of whether Ostrem could stand trial. On October 10, 2018, Ostrem pleaded guilty in the shooting. On October 19, 2018, Ostrem was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences plus 48 years in prison.
Walmart released a statement that said "The entire Walmart family is deeply saddened by this tragic event. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the families who lost loved ones and to all who were impacted by what took place. We are assisting law enforcement however we can and are referring all requests for information to them." 
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