Indiana Walmart shooting: one person injured; presume dead

The Associated Press

Published Friday, January 20, 2023 2:53 PM EST

Last updated on Friday, January 20, 2023 6:38 pm EST

EVANSVILLE, Indiana (AP) — Indiana police said Friday the heroic actions of a Walmart employee and law enforcement officials stopped a gunman who shot and injured a female employee from doing more damage.

The woman was the only person injured late Thursday when 25-year-old Ronald Ray Mosley II walked into a break room at a store where employees were meeting, took aim at the victim and shot her with a 9mm handgun shot in the face.

Sergeant Anna Gray of the Evansville Police Department said officers were inside the building within four minutes of the 911 call, and Mosley was shot dead by officers who tracked him down shortly thereafter. No injuries were reported among the roughly 100 officers from multiple agencies who responded. At that time there were about 40 employees and 40 buyers in the shop.

After the shooting, a male employee — also aimed at by Mosley — ran out of the room, and Mosley followed. Another clerk saw Mosley fled the room and called 911. She then ran back into the room to retrieve the victim, taking her to another room, locking the door and turning off the light before Mosley returned and searched for the wounded woman.

Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin called the employee a hero and credited her with saving the victim’s life.

“I have no doubt that he would return to finish what he started and we would probably have a dead victim today instead of one alive,” Bolin said during a Friday news conference.

The injured woman was taken to an Indianapolis hospital by helicopter and was in stable condition, according to Gray.

At least eight officers fired shots as they pursued Mosley, who Bolin said left a suicide note.

“He absolutely intended to die last night,” Bolin said.

Gray said investigators did not yet know when Mosley acquired the pistol he used in the shooting or how many shots he fired.

Bodycam video, which played during the press conference, showed an officer holding an assault rifle in front of him and another officer moving through the aisles of the store in front of him until gunfire was heard elsewhere in the store and an officer shouted, “Stop it! Drop it!” Moments later, a voice is heard saying, “He’s down, the target is down.”

The shooting wasn’t the first criminal incident Mosley was involved in at the store. He was fired from the business after being charged with four counts of battery on May 18, 2022 after assaulting four employees. A probable cause affidavit filed in the case says Mosley told police he had problems with people at work and “lost control.”

The case was eventually referred to the Vanderburgh County Mental Health Court.

He pleaded guilty to battery charging and was undergoing psychiatric treatment in court, Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Diana Moers said. Mosely had actually arrived at a progress hearing on Thursday afternoon, just hours before the shooting.

Moers said Mosely’s battery charges conviction “would not necessarily disqualify him from possession of a handgun.”

Walmart, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant, said in a statement that “the entire Walmart family is shocked by the senseless violence that took place at our Evansville store, and our hearts go out to our employee at this time.”

The company said in a separate statement that it does not discuss HR matters with current or former employees, but said Mosley “has not worked for Walmart since May 2022.”

Indiana has a “red flag” law, passed by the legislature in 2005, that allows police or courts to confiscate guns from anyone who shows warning signs of violence. However, no trial was filed against Mosley after the May incident at the store, Winston Lin, deputy chief prosecutor for the Vanderburgh County Attorney’s Office, said on Friday.

Evansville, a city of around 116,000 on the Ohio River, is about 170 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

A Walmart executive in Chesapeake, Virginia, killed six people in November when he began wild shooting in a break room before a routine staff meeting two days before the Thanksgiving holiday. In addition, six people were injured. The gunman shot and killed himself before officers arrived.

Rick Callahan and Tom Davies contributed to this report from Indianapolis.