As the police start to put together what led to a shooting at a Walmart in Forrest Green, AR, it turns out the personal life of the suspected shooter may have been at play. In a series of tweets from Fox 13 Memphis reporter Jacque Mass, the alleged shooter, Bobby Joe Gibbs, had begun to act irregularly of late. The reporter wrote that she spoke with some of Gibbs' family who told her his behavior started changing after getting a divorce from his wife.
I'm told everyone has been evacuated from the Walmart. I've spoken to some family members about the suspect Bobby Joe Gibbs. They tell me he started acting difference after his divorce. He has an 18 year old son. @FOX13Memphis pic.twitter.com/z57dDUPz4u— Jacque Masse (@massereports) February 10, 2020
An eyewitness to the shooting told KATV that she heard roughly a dozen shots fired around 10:30 a.m., local time. Gibbs had reportedly entered the Walmart prior to that when he began making random threats at other shoppers. The police were notified, and once they arrive, two officers began to approach Gibbs, he allegedly shot at the officers, striking one of them four times. The police returned fire on the suspect, who was declared dead at the scene.
Several nearby businesses had also apparently closed down in the wake of the shooting, as well as Central Elementary School, which prompted the Forrest City School District to address the tragedy via Facebook post.
"All students and staff are safe and administrators took all appropriate actions," the district wrote. "We are praying for the officers injured in the incident and would like to thank the Forrest City Police Department for their rapid response to this emergency situation."
Joining the local school district, Walmart also issued an official statement on the matter.
"We are aware of the incident that took place at our store in Forrest City, AR this morning," the statement began. "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."
Back in August, Walmart was the scene of another tragic shooting in El Paso, TX, which left 22 people dead. In the wake of that event, the retailer made the decision to stop allowing customers to carry weapons, as well as the selling of specific firearms. In November, another shooting at a Walmart in Duncan, OK left three dead.