Fight Begins in Walmart Bathroom, Ends With 1 Dead

7 arrested after melee in Cottonwood, Ariz., parking lot
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 23, 2015 9:49 AM CDT
This May 28, 2013, file photo shows a sign outside a Walmart store in Duarte, Calif.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

(Newser) – An overnight brawl in an Arizona Walmart parking lot has left one person dead and two others wounded, including a police officer who was shot in the leg. The Arizona Department of Public Safety says a Cottonwood police officer was shot just before midnight last night as he and a group of officers tried to break up the melee. The incident began when a Walmart employee noticed that a large group of people were in one of the store's restrooms, department spokesman Bart Graves says. The employee was shoved by one of the suspects when she tried to enter, he says. By the time Cottonwood police arrived, the group had made its way to the parking lot. Officers were immediately attacked and there was a struggle for an officer's gun.

One suspect was fatally shot, a second suspect was shot in the abdomen, and a Walmart employee also suffered cuts on his arm. The wounded 31-year-old officer underwent surgery and is expected to recover. There were a total of three gunshots, and it was still unclear last night who fired the shots, Graves says. Seven officers suffered minor injuries, including lacerations and bruising. Seven suspects were taken into custody and were later booked on charges that included aggravated assault, attempted homicide, and obstruction, per Graves. It's unclear if everyone in the group is part of the same family. The department says in a statement that they were driving a Chevrolet Suburban with an Idaho license plate. "We don't know who they are at this point," Graves says. "They are not cooperating."

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