MARYSVILLE — Witnesses say it all started with some kind of commotion in the store just after 6 p.m. Wednesday.
“She said, ‘You have to get out now. Run! Drop everything and get out now and exit the store immediately. There’s been a threat,’” Davis said.
Davis and her girls, along with a lot of other people, dropped everything and headed for an exit. They were greeted with police rushing inside.
“When we got to the entrance, we just kind of slowed down, but the SWAT team was right there — there were four guys with guns drawn and they said, ‘Keep running.’ So we just kept running and we ran to the car,” Davis said.
Backup was called in, including more SWAT team members.
They had guns drawn on each corner of the store and the parking lot was full of nervous spectators, including Amanda Turner, who had been pacing back and forth in the parking lot for more than two hours.
She was worried because her cousin, an employee, was still inside.
“I was in communication with a co-worker of hers that said Chelsea was on shift; there was a fight between a man and a woman and the man mentioned a pistol, he looked at my cousin and said he had a pistol and would shoot everybody in the store. My cousin alerted the manager and called police,” Turner said.
But Marysville police had a slightly different version.
“The male suspect was in the sporting goods section when he overheard an employee mention store security as part of their normal routine,” a police statement said.
“This mention of store security was not directed at or in reference to the man; however, the suspect felt otherwise and became very upset at that point,” it added. “It was at this point that he advised the employee that he had a gun and that he was going to shoot everyone in the store.”
The statement added: “Officers were unable to identify anyone in the store that had actually seen a gun or any type of weapon in the possession of the suspect.”
Police saw the suspect leave the building on surveillance video.
“One witness did indicate that they felt that he had left with somebody else, with a female, and we haven’t been able to verify that. That’s just a witness account and so we still have a lot of questions that we don’t have answers to yet,” Marysville police Cmdr. Rob Lamoureaux said.
While the SWAT team searched the store, other officers searched the neighborhood. They had no immediate luck in finding the suspect.