A hostage situation in a Walmart store in Richland, Mississippi, ended when local police shot the 21-year-old suspect.
The Richland police posted on Facebook just after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday that they were “working an incident at Walmart involving a weapon the scene is secure and we will provide updates when they become available.” They asked locals to “avoid the area at and around Walmart at this time.”
It was almost two hours later when they posted an update.
“RPD had an officer involved shooting this evening at Walmart, all of our officers are safe!” the department wrote. “Walmart is secure and closed at this time. [The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation] will be conducting an independent investigation.”
Reports varied regarding the time of the incident, with some saying it started around 5:45 p.m. and others reporting times as late at 6:20.
Early Thursday morning, San Diego producer Malik Earnest published a video on Twitter that purported to show the previous night’s situation as it was happening.
The video showed a woman holding a frightened employee hostage in a Walmart store and holding what appeared to be a black semiautomatic pistol in her right hand. The Western Journal has not independently verified the authenticity of the video, but a number of news outlets reported that it was of the events in Richland.
Viral video posted to TikTok showed an apparent hostage situation unfold at a Walmart in Richland, Mississippi. A woman held a Walmart employee at gunpoint. News reports indicate the suspect was shot dead by police. No other injuries were reported. 📹: 504bigmama pic.twitter.com/KZKYPTn0jC
— Malik Earnest (@MalikEarnest) December 22, 2022
WAPT in Jackson reported that a Rankin County police and fire dispatcher had been heard asking if the suspect was “pointing a gun at people?”
“Last thing I was told is somebody walked in with a gun and yelled out that they want a news anchor there,” was the response. “I’m trying to get further.”
It was unclear from the report who was the dispatcher was talking with at the time.
The MBI told WAPT that officers fatally shot Corlunda McGinister of West Helena, Arkansas. No one else was harmed, according to the outlet.
One witness who heard the gunshot said at least 15 police cars had responded to the incident.
“It’s devastating for all parties involved — the officers, everybody that was involved in this situation,” Richland police Chief Nick McLendon said. “You know, with the Christmas season coming, mental health is a big deal because of the stress involved in the Christmas season.”
“If you see something, say something,” McLendon said, encouraging citizens to reach out for assistance from authorities during what can be a difficult time of year for many people.
The Walmart store will be closed until further notice, and the MBI will continue to look into the incident, as it reportedly does with all officer-involved shootings.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.