An armed civilian shot dead a gunman who wounded two people and opened fire inside a Walmart store in the northwestern United States on Sunday, police said.
The case is likely to provide fuel for firearms advocates who say that a “good guy” with a gun is often the best way to stop crime, following increased calls for gun control after recent mass shootings.
Sunday’s incident took place in Tumwater, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Seattle in Washington state.
Police there said they initially found a 16-year-old female who had been injured during a carjacking in which shots were reported fired at about 5:00 pm.
Witnesses then reported that the suspect from the carjacking had entered a Walmart store “and fired shots at a display case,” a police statement said.
Nobody was injured that time but the same suspect then went outside and tried to steal a car, shooting and wounding the man inside.
“The suspect then attempted a second carjacking at Walmart, and was approached by two armed civilians. The male suspect was fatally shot by one of the armed civilians,” the police said as they continued to investigate.
Last November in Texas, an armed bystander shot and wounded a man who had just massacred 26 people at a church.
Addressing the annual meeting of the powerful National Rifle Association in May, US Vice President Mike Pence said there was too much news coverage about the sorrow of mass shootings and not enough about “good guys” with guns.
President Donald Trump also spoke to the NRA, rejecting calls for stricter gun laws despite the February shooting of 17 people at a Florida high school which spurred student survivors to push for gun reform.
Firearms are responsible for more than 30,000 gun-related deaths annually in the United States.