Shootout at Virginia Walmart injures three, including deputy


Three people, including a sheriff’s deputy, were injured Saturday in a shootout at a Walmart in Virginia, authorities said.

The deputy, who was not identified, and two Walmart security employees were hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman said at a news conference.

The suspect, also unidentified, was taken into custody in nearby Fairfax County after a vehicle pursuit, he said. He was hospitalized because he was struck in the shootout, sheriff’s officials said.

It began when the Walmart security employees at Dulles Crossing Plaza in Sterling, Virginia, “escorted” the suspect to their office after he allegedly stole items inside the store, they said.

LCSO is on-scene of a non-fatal shooting at the Dulles Crossing Plaza in Sterling. The investigation is ongoing, and residents are asked to avoid the area. The suspect fled the area in a vehicle. More details will be released as they become available.

— Loudoun County Sheriff (@LoudounSheriff) January 2, 2021

The two employees, described by authorities as loss-prevention officers, called deputies to arrest him for alleged felony theft, Chapman said.

When the responding pair of deputies tried to take the suspect into custody, he resisted, pulled a gun from his waistband and opened fire inside the security office, he said.

“He ended up striking the loss-prevention officers one time in each of their legs as far as we know,” the sheriff said. “One of our two deputies was shot and struck several times.”

The other deputy returned fire, striking the man, but it wasn’t enough to stop him from running to the parking lot, where he found a pickup with the keys inside and drove off, Chapman said.

Deputies chased him, and law enforcement officers from other agencies, including the Virginia State Police, assisted, sheriff’s officials said. At one point, authorities lost track of the suspect, and a law enforcement helicopter was enlisted to help track him down, Chapman said.

The man was ultimately found after he “crashed” the truck, and he was taken into custody before being hospitalized, sheriff’s officials said.

Image: Dennis RomeroDennis Romero

Dennis Romero writes for NBC News and is based in Los Angeles.

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