CHICAGO (CBS) — The Walmart in Hobart, Indiana, has reopened after a Sunday afternoon shooting that forced the store to close for more than 12 hours.
Police were called to the store around 3:50 p.m. Sunday, after a customer was shot inside.
Twitter immediately lit up with rumors of an active shooter, but police shut those down within 20 minutes. Police said it was an isolated incident, and there was no threat to the public.
It started when two people who knew each other started arguing in the store.
An off-duty East Chicago police officer was shopping in the Walmart at the time, and took a male suspect into custody. A woman who was with the suspect also was taken into custody, but was later released without charges.
The man who was shot was taken to the hospital, where his condition was stabilized.
The East Chicago Police chief said he’s extremely proud of the officer who arrested the suspect.
#HERO off-duty #officer was shopping with wife/kids & ran towards #WalmartShooting! I’m on my way to interview him. His Chief tells @cbschicago he’s “extremely proud…had it not been for his swift selfless actions, the situation could've been worse.” #merillville #hobart #NWI pic.twitter.com/9YMGRrRs1E
— LAUREN VICTORY (@LaurenVictory) September 2, 2019
“Had it not been for his swift selfless actions, the situation could’ve been worse. He was able to stop the threat and prevent any further harm or danger to the patrons and workers inside of that store,” the chief said.
The store was evacuated after the shooting, and closed for about 12 hours as police investigated.
Hobart police said they were still questioning witnesses to the shooting on Monday, and expected to present the case to Lake County prosecutors on Tuesday, to consider charges against the suspect.
It was the second shooting at the same Walmart in less than a year.
On Sept. 30, 2018 a gunman shot two people in the parking lot of the same Walmart. A 9-year-old boy and his 25-year-old father were wounded in the shooting.
One of the victims ran inside the store, alarming customers, according to police. At the time, employees at the Walmart store had just finished active shooter training a few days before.
Alex Cordell Hughes, 26, was charged in the 2018 shooting. Police said Hughes and the man he allegedly shot were in rival Gary gangs.
Despite the shootings, customers said they will continue to shop at the Walmart in Hobart.
“I’m glad I wasn’t here at the time, but it’s close to home. Maybe there’s security. So I’ll probably keep coming,” Pat Seaton said.
“I can’t let incidents stop me from doing what I want to do, go where I go. That would be foolish,” Cathy Presly said. “If something is going to happen, it’s going to happen.”
Any witnesses who have additional details are asked to call Hobart police Sgt. Rod Gonzalez at (219) 924-1125, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.