Armed Shoppers Slowed Down Walmart Shooting Investigation

Suspect walked off job hours before Colorado shooting
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2017 4:15 AM CDT
Armed Shoppers Slowed Down Walmart Shooting Investigation
This Wednesday image released by the Thornton Police Department shows shooting suspect Scott Ostrem at a Walmart in Thornton, Colo.   (Thornton Police Department via AP)

The man accused of killing three people at a Walmart in suburban Denver Wednesday night abruptly walked off his job hours earlier, his employer says. David Heidt at B&M Roofing tells the AP that he's "bewildered." He says Scott Ostrem, 47, was a good worker who never caused any problems during his three years as a metal fabricator for the company. Neighbors, however, describe Ostrem as angry, rude, and apparently friendless. "Dude had an attitude, big time," one neighbor says. "He's the type of person if you said, 'Good morning,' he wouldn't say nothing." Records show that Ostrem, who filed for bankruptcy in 2015, has had at least 11 Denver-area addresses since 1991.

The investigation was slowed down by the fact that several shoppers in the Thornton store pulled out their own guns when the suspect started firing, police say. Thornton police spokesman Victor Avila tells the Denver Post that the armed shoppers made it difficult to single out the real shooter from surveillance footage. Avila says it ended up taking more than five hours to identify Ostrem, who was arrested after a brief car chase Thursday. CBS Denver reports that the victims, who were apparently killed at random, have been identified as 66-year-old grandfather Carlos Moreno, 52-year-old grandmother Pamela Marques, and Victor Vasquez, 26. According to a GoFundMe page, Vasquez was the father of two little girls and had a third child on the way. (More mass shootings stories.)

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