Police say a suspect who allegedly killed a man in the Walmart parking lot has fired “a long gun” at police officers and is holed up in a residence on Dryden Road.
After responding to reports of a shooting at Walmart at 12:52 a.m., officers from the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and the Cayuga Heights Police Department noticed a vehicle matching the suspect’s driving north on Route 13 and attempted to make a traffic stop, according to Ithaca Police Chief John Barber.
The suspect fled for a quarter mile, Barber said, before turning into a driveway, exiting the vehicle with a “long gun” and firing at least one round in the direction of officers, who did not return fire and were uninjured.
State Police, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and Ithaca Police are at the scene on the 1200 block of Dryden Road and officials warned people to avoid the area. County officials said that TCAT buses and the Dryden and Ithaca school districts have been notified of the active scene.
The victim, wearing a UPS uniform, was fatally shot by a man in a black truck, who then ran over the victim and peeled out, according to witnesses.
“A guy was sitting in his truck, and all I heard was a gunshot and looked up, saw the guy fall, and then the guy in the truck backed up, pulled out, ran him over and took off,” John Thorna, of Newfield, told The Sun.
Bangs medics performed CPR on the victim shortly after 1 a.m., before Ithaca Police officers covered him in a white sheet and began taking pictures of the crime scene.
Thorna, who police identified as a witness, said he was standing by his sedan’s trunk, scratching the seal off of a phone card in the Walmart parking lot near Route 13 when he heard a single gunshot. Moments before, Thorna said, the victim had been behind him in the checkout line.
The victim, who Thorna said was white and appeared to be in his mid-40s, was wearing a UPS uniform. Thorna said he didn’t hear any argument and only looked up when he heard the gunshot and saw the man fall, about 200 feet from Walmart.
Linda Kemp, 68, told The Sun she was behind Thorna and the man in the UPS uniform — the only three people in the Walmart line at the time. The man in the uniform bought a pack of Marlboros and said he worked 13-hour days, she said, adding that the UPS truck was still parked in the lot after the shooting.
The victim was “walking out of the store and the other guy seemed like he was in the truck waiting for him,” Thorna said.
A Walmart employee said the store has surveillance cameras that cover the area of the alleged shooting and that managers were in the process of reviewing the tapes.
“I’ve worked here 11 years and I’ve never seen anything like that,” the employee said of the crime scene.
“[The] last place I want to meet my maker is on the ground in a Walmart parking lot,” Kemp said.