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FYI, overnight in Albuquerque..................

Friday, August 26, 2005

Attacker Shot to Death at Wal-Mart

By Lloyd Jojola
Journal Staff Writer
A Wal-Mart customer who saw a female employee being stabbed Thursday pulled out a gun and shot the attacker, according to police.
The violence erupted shortly after 5 p.m. at the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 301 San Mateo SE, leaving the attacker dead and the woman with multiple stab wounds, police said.
The victim and her attacker were believed to have been "domestically involved"— such as married or ex-spouses, police spokeswoman Trish Hoffman said.
The shooter had a concealed-carry gun permit, Hoffman said.
The shooter was detained for questioning, she said.
"Right now, it appears, from what witnesses are corroborating, it looks like it may be justified. None of that is confirmed yet," Hoffman said.
The attacker lay dead in the store an hour after the shooting. The woman was taken to University of New Mexico Hospital with what were called non-life-threatening stab wounds. She was in stable condition Thursday night.
The incident occurred at the height of the evening commute, the store crowded with people running errands. It left some store patrons "frantic," "screaming," calling out for their children and running for the exits, said customers who were inside the store.
The incident, according to customers, occurred at the store's deli section at the southwest corner of the store, near the front.
"We were just shopping when all of a sudden we heard like the sound of an empty pallet falling down," said Bill Winzenburg, a Kansas resident in Albuquerque for a job interview.
"Then, it was boom, boom, boom!" said Winzenburg's wife, Cheryl.
"We had a couple of parents yelling to their kids, calling for their kids," Bill Winzenburg said.
"There was a lot of people screaming, a lot of confusion," said Nelson Londono, a Kirtland Air Force Base airman.
Londono said he was walking by the deli section when he heard a woman scream. He also said he saw a man with a gun leaning over the deli counter. He heard at least three gunshots.
Glen Rhodes, another customer, and Londono then went to another part of the store, near the sporting goods, and started directing as many people through the exits as they could.
Jake Jaramillo, who was with his wife and son, was buying a backpack for his son.
"Mostly everybody was running toward the back," Jaramillo said.
"People who were running from the front to the back were saying, 'Somebody's shooting. Run, run!' ''
Still, some oblivious consumers continued to shop.
"When we were running towards the back, people were still shopping," Jaramillo said.
Rhodes said he told one woman, "Ma'am, just leave your cart and go!"
Dale Enggass and Brian Lewis, UNM students and dorm residents, were getting ice cream and other food when they heard "a lot of yelling."
"We kind of rushed to where it was to see what was happening," Lewis said.
Lewis said he peeked at the deli area and saw a guy climbing over the counter.
Initially, some customers were crouching. "There was a lot of confusion and some scared people," Lewis said, adding that the two left the store through a storage area.
Police quickly sealed off the store and its parking lot upon arrival. Store workers and some customers, who couldn't get to their vehicles, remained while police investigated.
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