CLINTON, S.C. (FOX CAROLINA) -- Walmart on Monday issued a statement after Laurens County deputies said a woman was arrested Sunday after a man was shot inside the Walmart distribution center in Laurens County.
Sheriff Don Reynolds confirmed the details to FOX Carolina following a major law enforcement response to the center off of I-385.
According to Reynolds, LCSO responded around 3:40 p.m. surrounding an altercation between the man and the woman. Reynolds says the man is in the hospital receiving treatment and does not appear to be in grave condition.
The woman was identified as 56-year-old Deborah Anderson Morgan of Greenwood, and has been arrested on the following charges:
- assault with intent to murder
- possession of a weapon during a violent crime
- violation of a protective order
Reynolds says the complex is a large area, and that deputies had to start in the center of the building and work their way out. He says LCSO needed to confirm that there was indeed only one shooter. We're also told employees took cover once it happened, and the woman went to a break room and stayed there until authorities arrived.
He also said Morgan used a semi-automatic firearm.
Clinton Knapp, a truck driver who was in the loading dock when the shooting went down, said he was told by employees to sit tight at first.
“The guard that checks in the paperwork and everything came out yelling at all the truck drivers; at first telling us to stay in our trucks and then after a few, United told us to get out of our vehicles and come into the building where they locked the doors and kept us in the building," said Knapp. “Given everything that’s happened, yes, it was pretty nerve-racking but I felt pretty safe with in the facility.”
Reynolds praised emergency responders who he said knew the area and who were able to speed up response to the incident, including SLED, Laurens City PD, Clinton PD, DNR, Highway Patrol, and Newberry County S.O.
FOX Carolina has reached out to Walmart for comment, but as of writing we have not heard back.
A full statement from LCSO, including a quote from Sheriff Reynolds, follows below:
On March 10, 2019 the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office responded to Walmart Distribution Center in Laurens to what was reported as an active shooter situation. Upon arrival, the Shift Lieutenant located a victim with a gunshot wound in the warehouse. The Lieutenant was able to provide cover while co-workers got the victim out of the building. As more officers arrived to provide cover, EMS responded and treated the victim, removing him from the scene. Employees were able to quickly relay the suspects name and description to Deputies, who then relayed this information to other responding units.
Deputies found the suspect sitting in a break room near the main entrance a short time later. She was taken into custody without further incident and was eventually transported to the Johnson Detention Center where she was booked on several charges.
Numerous law enforcement personnel strategically cleared the building to make sure there were no other threats inside the facility and to locate any employee’s which might still be inside the building. Officers with the Sheriff’s Office, Laurens City Police Department, Clinton Police Department, DNR, Highway Patrol, and the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist. SLED Crime Scene also responded to process the scene.
We are still in the preliminary stages of the investigation; however, it appears this was an isolated incident between two people. Right now, it appears the victim was the only person targeted by the shooter. The victim was transported to the hospital, but it doesn’t appear that his injuries are life threatening. We will provide updates as they come available.
“This was a very dangerous situation and there were a lot of employee’s in this facility, so we’re thankful that no one else was seriously injured by this woman’s reckless actions. I want to thank all the Law Enforcement agencies that responded to assist with this incident. Obviously, it was a very large facility to clear and would have taken much longer if it weren’t for these agencies’ assistance.”
-Sheriff Don Reynolds, Laurens, South Carolina
Walmart's corporate office released this statement Monday concerning the shooting:
“We are disturbed by what has happened to our associate and our thoughts are with him and his family. We wish him a swift recovery and are relieved no one else was injured. Additionally, we are appreciative of the quick actions by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Department. As we are working closely with law enforcement, we will refer additional questions to them.”