Disgruntled Walmart worker killed after taking employees hostage

Published: Jun. 14, 2016 at 3:12 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2016 at 5:38 PM CDT
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Police units stage outside of the Walmart on 4215 S. Georgia St. / Source KFDA
Police units stage outside of the Walmart on 4215 S. Georgia St. / Source KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A Walmart employee upset over a missed promotion took his manager and another employee hostage Tuesday before he was fatally shot by police, according to the Amarillo Police Department.

Authorities have identified the employee as 54-year-old Mohammad Moghaddam, and cited the promotion dispute as a strong motive for the hostage situation that eventually led to his death.

An early investigation has led police to believe that Moghaddam entered the store located near I-27 and Georgia around 11 a.m. and fired at least one gunshot toward the ceiling. He then forcibly took the manager into an office in the back of the store, possibly belonging to the second employee who was held hostage.

Shortly after, multiple police agencies from across the area quickly responded to the scene. Personnel from APD, Department of Public Safety, the Randall County Sheriff's Office and others blocked off the surrounding area to motorists as they secured the area.

SWAT officers entered the Walmart shortly after noon and found one of the hostages uninjured near the office. The tactical team made their way inside of the office and reportedly found an armed Moghaddam and the manager inside. Moghaddam was then shot by two SWAT officers and is believed to have died immediately.

Neither of the hostages suffered injuries.

Officials say the two SWAT officers have been placed on administrative leave per normal protocol. Further investigation into the incident is ongoing.

A spokesperson for Walmart released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

"As soon as we heard about the situation at our store in Amarillo, Texas, we acted immediately. All customers and our two associates who were held hostage are safe. This was a very difficult situation and we are thankful for the quick response from law enforcement."

For customers inside the store, the situation was a sobering reality.

Tara Aguilar said she was walking inside the Walmart when a gunshot was fired and the store was locked down.

"I just can't believe it would happen here," Aguilar sad. "Whether it be an employee or whatever, I mean you just never know what's going to happen."

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