GLENDALE, ARIZONA — Two victims of an armed attack reportedly had interactions with the perpetrator prior to him following them inside a Walmart. He opened fire on both of them, wounding them. Thankfully, one of the victims was armed and able to return fire. This forced 21-year-old Almalik Ward to flee.
According to ABC 15 Arizona, the suspect in the attack was positively identified and is currently a top priority for law enforcement operating in the area. Both victims took non-life-threatening gunshot wounds and were treated successfully.
Oddly enough, though, Ward wasn’t immediately identified from surveillance or even from the victims. He was identified because a woman had stopped to pick up his shell casings and an employee spotted her doing it. That woman was interrogated and she gave up Ward’s identity to police. Once identified, it appears they already have a picture of him on-hand… This means he likely had previous encounters with law enforcement.
Who the heck knows why Ward decided to follow two guys into a Walmart and opened fire?
What we do know is that it appears both victims were actively trying to evade an active fight despite provocation. Unfortunately, bad guys don’t much care for playing nice.
That’s why we have to carry every single day.
This could have been any of us. Imagine getting out of the car at a Walmart and heading inside. You bump somebody or somebody just didn’t like the way you parked and now he’s trying to start a fight in the parking lot. You ignore him — do the right thing — and just proceed in to do some holiday shopping.
Now he’s going to follow you and open fire on you while your back is turned.
This isn’t a situation that can be fixed with situational awareness alone. Or just some range practice. This is a real life situation and sometimes it just comes down to having the ability to react at all.
I’m sorry it didn’t work out great for the victims but I am glad at least one of them was able to fight back. Once Ward realized he wasn’t fighting against two defenseless people, he was forced to retreat. That also probably kept other people being hurt.
Carry everyday. Your life depends on it.