Two people who were in the car with a US airman when he drove to a North Dakota Walmart and opened fire inside the store in an apparently random shooting had no idea what he was about to do, police said yesterday. Marcell Willis, 21, made up a reason to go to Walmart around 1am Tuesday, Police Lt. Derik Zimmel said, and the two people with him stayed in the car while he went inside the Grand Forks store. Willis fatally shot one worker and injured another, both near the self-checkout area at the front of the store, then killed himself. Police have found no motive for the shooting, and Zimmel said the people who were with Willis also don't seem to know why he did it.
"To the best as we can tell at this point, they were as clueless as to his motives as anybody else," Zimmel said. Zimmel would not say what ties the passengers had to Willis. He said authorities were treating them as witnesses, not suspects. Police have identified the victims as overnight cashier Gregory Weiland, 70, of Grand Forks, who was killed, and overnight grocery general manager Lisa Braun, 47, of Grand Forks, who was injured. An autopsy will determine whether Willis had drugs or alcohol in his system. Police did not say when the results would be made available. Willis had been stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, about a dozen miles west of the city, since February 2013 and had achieved the rank of senior airman, the base said.