MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG has learned new information about what unfolded when two Walmart employees were killed at the Southaven Walmart on Tuesday.
Two weeks before the chaos unfolded, Southaven Police Department Deputy Chief Mark Little says officers were already thinking about the potential for an active shooter.
“You hope it never happens for us, but you have to prepare for it,” he said.
Little says it was the second time they did active shooter training, along with the fire department. The training is a new way to approach active shooter situations, and it allows fire officials to enter the scene with police.
“Their role in the new way is to provide personal first aid. Our role is to take them in and keep them out of harms way,” Little said.
They never imagined they’d be using that training so soon. It was even more complicated by a fire that was set inside.
“We had the worst of both worlds. Our job is to stop a threat, and they stopped that threat within a short time after arriving.”
Fourteen Southaven officers got to the scene within two and a half minutes of the first call. Eventually, 60 officers from other agencies swarmed the shopping area and exchanged gunfire Martez Abram. At least one of those shots ht Abram in the chest, and he’s been in the hospital ever since.
Authorities later confirmed that Abram shot and killed Brandon Gales and Anthony Brown. They couldn’t speak with him until Thursday when he reached stable condition.
“We did interview him ourselves, along with the MBI, so we’ll continue to keep that dialogue with him,” Little said. “He did purchase handguns legally. The ATF was able to work with us on that.”
Little says law enforcement partners also helped them interview around 60 witnesses.