In a scene that has become all too familiar, even if it is still statistically rare, the headlines have peaked about another shooting, this one leaving at least three people dead at a Walmart in Duncan, Oklahoma.
Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said two of the people killed were in a vehicle outside the store and the third person killed was in the parking lot.
The fate of the shooter was not immediately clear. The Duncan Banner, citing police, reported that the dead included the gunman.
Schools in the city were placed on lockdown, but the lockdown was lifted a short time later. At the Ace Hardware store about a block south of the Walmart in Duncan, cashier Austyn Fenwick said the store was notified of the incident but is carrying on business as usual.
“We’re not on lockdown or anything, but we were told to be on the lookout for someone in black clothing,” Fenwick said in phone interview. “We are all right.”
However, the owner of a nursing home across the street claims a police officer told her the suspect killed himself at the scene.
Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen.
As per usual, the scene is incredibly fluid and information is subject to change.
Needless to say, though, at this point we don’t know if there was a motive for the shooting and, if there is, what that might be. That could take days for police to determine. In fact, we know remarkably little other than that the event happened and people are dead. That’s about it.
However, this comes just a matter of days after Oklahoma’s constitutional carry law went into effect. While it’s unknown if the law had any bearing on the shooting or not, it seems like a safe bet that the shooting will spark debate on the idea of constitutional carry not just in the state but nationally.
That debate is likely to be premature at best, though, since we still don’t have much in the way of facts. Those will come in the near future, such as who the shooter was, what kind of weapon he used, any motive he may have had, and so on.
In fact, even the death toll is subject to change.
What isn’t, though, is that this is yet another senseless act of violence.
That said, if authorities are warning people in the area to be on the lookout for someone in black clothing, it would behoove others in Duncan, OK to do the same. While it’s likely he would have changed clothing by now, he may have holed up somewhere until the police stop looking and been unable to change.
Otherwise, those in the area should listen to instructions by the police. It’s likely to be a tense situation and belligerence isn’t likely to make it any better. Let the police do their job, keep and wary eye out, and pray for the loved ones of the victims and for any wounded we may learn of later.