Police in Brooklyn Park shot an armed man in the chest Monday in an exchange of gunfire outside a Walmart, and they arrested two people with the suspect, according to authorities.
The gunfire occurred about noon at the retail outlet in the 8000 block of N. Lakeland Avenue, northeast of Interstate 94 and Hwy. 169, according to police.
The encounter at the Walmart was connected to a suspected armed carjacking that morning at an Enterprise car rental office in nearby Brooklyn Center, according to emergency dispatch audio.
"Driver of the car said the suspect pointed a gun directly at her and told her to get out," a dispatcher was heard saying. "She's at home now in Minneapolis."
Deputy Chief Todd Milburn said one of the three suspects was shot by police, and the man was expected to survive. The others were arrested.
"The suspect began to flee on foot while shooting at the officers," police said in a statement. "Officers returned fire, striking the suspect."
The man was taken to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale. His condition was not immediately known.
Dispatch audio also disclosed that the wounded man was about 40 years old and was shot at least four times, at least once in the chest.
A call from an employee to 911 sent officers to the store about suspicious activity possibly involving a theft, Milburn said. When the officers arrived, they were confronted by a suspect described in the emergency call.
"The circumstances ... and what led up to all that is under investigation," Milburn said.
Investigation of the incident has since been turned over to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
By midafternoon, the parking lot slowly emptied as customers left in vehicles after first being cleared by authorities. Other customers unaware of the shooting arrived, only to be told by police that the store was closed, though a few employees were allowed in to continue working their scheduled shifts.
With many families stocking up on supplies due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the store was bustling with customers at the time of the shooting. But the only reported injury was that of the suspect, and no officers were injured, Milburn said.
Caution tape surrounded the entire property, while city, county and state officials processed the scene. Several cars near the center of the parking lot were covered by a tarp, which appeared to be the focus of the ongoing investigation.
Semitrailer trucks still arrived with inventory throughout the day, but police cordoned off all entrances to the business. It's unclear when it will reopen.
Walmart issued a statement from its Arkansas headquarters that read, "We're thankful no customers or associates were hurt. We appreciate local law enforcement's quick response and are assisting police as they investigate this incident."