Three dead in brutal Walmart shooting; gunman still at large

Thorton Police Department

Coroner Monica Broncucia-Jordan said Thursday that 52-year-old Pamela Marques, 66-year-old Carlos Moreno, and 26-year-old Victor Vasquez died in Wednesday night's shooting.

He says a motive for the shooting is unknown.

"We had to discern what exactly was going on, whether that was a suspect or a citizen wondering what was going on and concerned by the sound of gunshots", Avila said.

According to the Thornton Police Department, 47-year-old Steve Ostrem nonchalantly walked into the Walmart in Thornton and opened fire on a group of people near the cash registers.

The shooting was reported at around 6:10 p.m. and witnesses told Thornton Police investigators that a man walked into the south main entrance of the store and starting shooting. Two men died inside the Walmart, which is about 16 km north of Denver in a busy shopping centre.

This meant they couldn't send a Walmart employee into the store to immediately review surveillance footage, since police still had to secure the scene and make sure it was safe.

"This is a very heinous act", said Thornton police spokesman Victor Avila.

Video broadcast from CBS affiliate KCNC-TV showed the suspect being handcuffed by police against the side of an SUV as Federal Bureau of Investigation agents carrying rifles and wearing body armor looked on.

"The employees started screaming and the customers started screaming" as people began to flee, he said. Avila says he doesn't know how many rounds were fired.

The names of the victims have not been released though Tiffany Wilson, Director of Walmart Communications, did confirm that all Walmart staff has been accounted for.

An hour later, the Thornton Police Department tweeted, "At this time this is not an active shooter".

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