‘Cold-hearted, no compassion;’ gun debate looms after deadly Walmart shooting in Butler Co.
New information emerged today about the deadly shooting at a Butler County Walmart.
Anthony Brown is being held in the Butler County Jail after being 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 Black.
News Center 7's Mike Campbell has been following the story all day trying to figure out if Brown was legally carrying the gun.
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The Walmart store on Princeton Road in Fairfield Twp. was closed all day on Friday except for employees helping to clean up the store and gathering for advice.
The shooting is another focal point for the gun debate, leaving a different community trying to understand the deadly violence.
One customer said: "I opened my door and got ready to go in and I heard gunshots ring out."
The customer said he saw a Walmart employee fall to the ground and ran back to his car. He later learned that the gunman also shot a customer while trying to flee the store.
"I ran back to my car. It was bizarre. The Texas thing happened, then this happened," the client said.
Another customer said: "When you hear gunshots in a store, the first thing that comes to mind is an active gunman situation."
Police said Brown ran from the store and briefly escaped. Multiple authorities gathered information overnight that said he was hiding at a Middletown hotel.
A SWAT team surrounded the building, police said, Brown then jumped out of a first-story window and ran, dropping a pistol. He was quickly tracked down and arrested.
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Fairfield Police called it a great relief given the crimes Brown is accused of.
Captain Doug Lanier said: "And the circumstances of just being so cold hearted and having no compassion for human lives. So, it's a great feeling."
Pam Abner, who lives in Butler County, said: "The whole gun thing is so sad. It's crazy."
Abner heard about the shooting Friday morning. She was one of hundreds of people who were turned away at the store when employees informed people it was closed.
Brown appeared before a judge Friday morning and received $5 million bail. Court documents show that Brown was already out on bail after being accused of an armed robbery at a Butler County drive-thru store a few months ago.
Abner said that she and her husband are both CCW permit holders and the violence that happened hurts responsible gun owners. But she doesn't want law-abiding citizens to be prevented from arming themselves.
"I have a feeling that if a person wants a gun, they will get a gun regardless of whether the law says they can have one or not," Abner said.
There is a small flower display at an entrance of the closed Walmart store to commemorate the customer who was killed in the incident and the employee who was treated at a local hospital.
Brown had at least one fourth-degree felony in his past, but Ohio law said he was not allowed to carry a gun because he was charged with a violent crime, which was charged with that armed robbery in Hamilton a few months ago.
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