‘Cold-hearted, no compassion;’ gun debate looms after deadly Walmart shooting in Butler Co.
FAIRFIELD TWP. — There is new information today into the deadly shooting inside a Butler County Walmart.
Anthony Brown is being held in the Butler County Jail after he was arrested following a SWAT standoff in Middletown.
Fairfield Township Police said Brown told employees to give him phones and when a shopper identified as 35-year-old Adam Black of Columbus, tried to stop him, police said Brown shot and killed Black.
News Center 7′s Mike Campbell has been following the story all day and trying to find out whether Brown was carrying the weapon legally.
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The Walmart store on Princeton Road in Fairfield Twp. was closed all day Friday, except to employees who were helping to clean up the store and gather for counseling.
The gunfire is another focus point for the debate over guns and leaves another community trying to understand the deadly violence.
One customer said,” I opened my door and was getting ready to go walk in, and I heard to shots go off.”
The customer said he saw a Walmart employee drop to the ground and ran back to his car. He later learned the gunman had also shot and killed a customer as he tried to run from the store.
“I ran back to my car. It was bizarre. The Texas thing happened, then this happened,” the customer said.
Another customer said, “You hear shots ring out in a store, first thing in your mind is an active shooter situation.”
Police said Brown did run out of the store and briefly escaped. Several agencies gathered information overnight that said he had holed up in a Middletown hotel.
A SWAT team surrounded the building, police said Brown then jumped out of a first-floor window and ran, dropping a handgun. He was quickly tracked down and arrested.
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Fairfield Police called it a big relief, given the crimes Brown is accused of.
Captain Doug Lanier said, “And the circumstances, just to be so cold-hearted and no compassion for human life. So, it’s a great feeling.”
Pam Abner who lives in Butler County said, “The whole gun thing is so sad. It is crazy.”
Abner heard about the shooting on Friday morning. She was one of hundreds of people who were turned away at the store as employees informed people it was closed.
Brown appeared before a judge on Friday morning and was given a $5 million bond. Court documents show that Brown was already out on bond after being accused of a few months ago of an armed robbery at a Butler County drive-through business.
Abner said she and her husband are both CCW permit holders and the violence that’s been happening hurts responsible gun owners. But she doesn’t want to see law-abiding citizens prevented from arming themselves.
“I feel like if a person wants to get a gun, they are gong to get a gun regardless of if the law says they can have one or not,” Abner said.
There is a small display of flowers at one entrance to the closed Walmart store to remember the customer who was killed in the incident and the employee being treated at a local hospital.
Brown has at least one fourth-degree felony in his past, but Ohio law said he couldn’t carry a gun because he was under indictment for a crime of violence, accused of that armed robbery in Hamilton a few months ago.