Two officers shot, suspect dead following shooting at Arkansas Walmart


FORREST CITY, Ark. (WREG) — Two Forrest City officers were shot and one suspect was killed Monday morning after a shooting in a Walmart.

Sources at the Forrest City Police Department identified the suspect as Bobby Gibbs, and said he was dead. Police have not officially identified him, but said he was known to police.

According to the Forrest City Police Department, Lt. Eric Varner and Detective Eugene Watlington were called to the store at 10:24 after Gibbs began making threats, saying he was going to blow up the Walmart. He was approached by the officers and that’s when the suspect reportedly opened fire, striking both.

Watlington was airlifted to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis for treatment and undergoing treatment as of 1:30 p.m. He’s expected to be okay.

Varner was taken to a local hospital. He too is expected to be okay.

“It’s due to their heroicism and quick response that no civilians were injured,” Forrest City Mayor Cedric Williams said in a news conference. “The quick response of our officers truly saved a lot of lives today.”

The Forrest City Police Department and the St. Francis Sheriff’s Office both made the scene. They blocked off the street adjacent to the store along with the store itself.

Arkansas State Police have taken over the investigation, Williams said.

Forrest City Schools were placed on lockdown during the incident and investigation, according to the school district’s social media.

Walmart released a statement saying, “We are aware of the incident that took place at our store in Forrest City, AR this morning.  We will continue to work with the Forrest City Police Department to assist in their investigation. As this is an active investigation, any additional questions should be referred to the Forrest City Police Department.”

One person was injured in a shooting at a Walmart in Memphis last week. Two people were killed and an officer injured in a shooting at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi in July 2019.

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