A reported active shooter at a Louisiana Walmart was then said to be an isolated shooting and then, following one contradictory report after another, with police confirming details to local media in each report, it now appears there never was a shooting. Or a shooting victim. Or was there?
It all began with an initial report by local media that police were responding to reports of an “active shooter” in a Baton Rouge Walmart Tuesday. WBRZ reported the Baton Rouge Police Department “confirmed the shooting was reported around noon at the Walmart on Burbank Drive at Bluebonnet.”
The news site has since deleted this tweet.
But within around 25 minutes, new reporting indicated that it was not an active mass shooter, but was an isolated shooting between two men following an argument. A video was posted to Twitter of what the user believed may have been police with a suspect on the ground: “Possibly the shooting suspect at Baton Rouge Walmart. Driving past Walmart on Burbank where police had a man on ground. Have no clue if person is suspect, but guns were drawn. Will update if possible.”
Then it was reported it was a “fight escalated into a shooting, local authorities say.”
Trying to clarify, station WAFB quoted police who said “the scene is not an active shooter situation, but the scene is active.”
WBMZ posted an updated story, noting there is a “…massive law enforcement presence, including sheriff’s deputies, Baton Rouge Police and a helicopter was spotted outside the store.”
While not an “active shooting situation at this time…authorities say they are also checking other Walmarts in the Baton Rouge area,” it was reported.
The Advocate reported what an account of what it was told happened, according to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff ‘s Office, which has not, as of 3 p.m., posted on Facebook about the incident: “A bystander buying his child a lunchbox at Walmart Tuesday morning was injured in a shooting after an altercation between two patrons broke out…” Police said the shooting happened near the customer service desk.
East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux told The Advocate that two Walmart customers got into an argument in the store and they pulled out on each other, although it’s reported only one man fired his weapon. The person struck by the bullets from his gun was just waiting in the check-out line. That unnamed person is being treated for non-life threatening injures, it was reported. That person was driven to the hospital.
Then police took to YouTube to provide further details.
“Thank God it was nothing like El Paso, police said. The alleged argument was supposedly over a kid’s lunchbox.
So a report of a shooting in Walmart led to an active shooter alert issued to employees, some of whom began an evacuation of the store. Employee Porcha Videau told The Advocate employees had practiced a ‘Code Red’ after the mass slaughter in the El Paso Walmart where 22 were gunned down and dozens were injured.
Police said both men had handguns. They said the man who didn’t shoot is in custody and the man who did fled. Police are looking for a “slight” black man, short cropped hair, wearing a black shirt and black shorts and driving a light-colored sedan.
But a shooting never happened. There were two guys arguing and guns were apparently drawn or see and from there, panic and chaos.
“Preliminary investigation results gathered are that a shooting incident did not occur …,” Gautreaux said in a statement.
And the gunshot victim that took themselves to the hospital?
“Investigators have concluded that the injuries sustained by the (bystander), were not the result of a gunshot. Investigators have determined that his injuries were sustained while he was attempting to flee the WalMart.”
This is a developing story.