Hostage taker killed in Walmart ‘workplace violence incident’

A SWAT team in Texas killed a gunman who took his colleagues hostage at a Walmart in the city of Amarillo to the north of the Lone Star State on June 14.

Two hostages were taken by 54-year-old Mohammad Moghaddam and both were unharmed after police and emergency vehicles rushed to the scene, storming the store and shooting the Walmart employee.

Details over how the shooting unfolded are scarce but the sheriff’s office told media “we consider this a work place violence situation”, noting that one of the hostages was the store manager with whom Moghaddam had a work-related dispute. 

“All customers and our two associates who were held hostage are safe. This was a very difficult situation and we are thankful for the quick response from law enforcement,” said Deisha Barnett, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

With the United States engulfed in controversy over its lax gun laws, work place violence and mass shootings are becoming increasingly commonplace.

Mass shootings are defined as incidents in which four or more people are shot, excluding the assailant, and reports now indicate that there have been 1,000 such events in the past 1,260 days alone, with Orlando’s massacre being the worst in the nation’s history.  

There were five other mass shootings last weekend alone with the exception of Orlando’s tragedy, with ten fatalities and 12 seriously injured. 

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