69-year-old shot dead at Walmart in Red Deer didn’t know shooter, police say after 2 arrested

RCMP have arrested two people after a 69-year-old man was killed in a shooting inside a Walmart in Red Deer, Alta., on Friday.

Chase Freed, 18, has been charged with five counts, including second-degree murder, attempted murder with a firearm and theft of a motor vehicle.

Crystal Maurice, 30, faces four counts, including accessory after the fact to murder and theft of a motor vehicle.

Both are from Red Deer.

RCMP initially said it appeared to be a targeted shooting, but Const. Shelley Nasheim said the investigation has revealed that was not the case.

According to a release, Charles Williams and his wife were leaving the Walmart when they were approached by an individual. After an “altercation,” Williams was shot and killed.

“They didn’t know each other, at all,” Nasheim said. “[We] haven’t been able to determine, exactly, what their intentions were. It would be purely speculation at this point. But it was an altercation.”

The suspect then fled, according to the release, in a stolen vehicle operated by a female, and “then they went out to Rimbey and they stole another one,” Nasheim said.

A number of detachments pursued the stolen vehicles. Spike belts were deployed, eventually immobilizing both vehicles. 

The male suspect fled on foot and was apprehended shortly thereafter, while the female suspect remained in one of the stolen vehicles and was arrested.

Freed will appear in court early next year; Maurice is set for court Monday.

Shoppers in lockdown after shooting

Shoppers reported seeing RCMP officers with rifles and shotguns swarm the store after the shooting took place.

No one else was injured, RCMP said, but shoppers and employees were forced to go into lockdown for multiple hours.

A map shows the location of a Walmart located in Red Deer, Alta., where a shooting took place Friday night. (Google)

A day after the shooting, Walmart’s director of corporate affairs, Adam Grachnik, confirmed no associate was injured.

“We are working closely with local RCMP and assembling details about the incident and those involved,” Grachnik said in a statement to CBC.

Shoppers and employees were eventually allowed to leave the store by bus or cab, but were required to pick up their vehicles the next day while RCMP was investigating.

The Walmart opened for business on Saturday as usual.



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