Amarillo police release details on Tuesday’s Walmart incident; say not tied to terrorism

The Amarillo Police Department issued a release Tuesday evening providing details on the incident that occurred Tuesday where a man with a gun entered the store on Canyon Drive and took two hostages.

According to the release, at approximately 11:06 a.m. APD officers were dispatched to the Walmart at 4215 Canyon Drive on the call of an active shooter.

Officers found that the suspect had entered the store and fired at least one shot toward the ceiling. The initial report to officers was that the man took a hostage and went into an office at the back of the store.

Responding officers from multiple law enforcement agencies arrived at the store and entered. According to officials, no more shots were fired after the initial shot.

A SWAT team continued a search of the store for the barricaded gunman. At approximately 12:20 p.m., SWAT officers saw what they believed was the only hostage come out of that office. SWAT officers entered the room and saw that there was a second hostage.

Officers found that the suspect was still armed with a handgun and was a threat to the hostage and the officers. Two SWAT officers fired shots which hit the suspect. Preliminary information shows that the suspect died immediately after being shot.

Both hostages were escorted to safety and examined by paramedics and neither was injured in the incident, according to the release.

The suspect was found to be 54-year-old Mohammad Moghaddam, an employee of the store. An investigation showed that there was a dispute between Moghaddam and management over a promotion. The first hostage taken was the manager that was involved in the dispute. At the time of the release, no information was available on the identity of the second hostage.

APD Special Crimes Unit has taken control of the investigation because the incident is an officer-involved shooting. Investigators have not yet determined how many shots were fired at this point in the investigation. The two SWAT officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure to allow the investigation to be completed.

Special Crimes will release more details as the investigation allows.

There is no indication that this had anything to do with terrorism or the shooting that happened over the weekend in Orlando.