AUSTIN, Texas >> A police officer was shot and killed early today at a Walmart in Central Texas, and a suspect is in custody, police said.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the officer was shot in the neck and died at the scene.
The officer was responding to a call about a drunk man inside the store around 2:30 a.m., Acevedo said. The suspect attacked the officer as soon as he arrived at the store and the officer didn’t have a chance to even pull out his own weapon.
“The suspect produced a semiautomatic pistol and shot the officer at point blank range,” Acevedo said.
The police chief declined to provide the officer’s name, but said he has two daughters, aged 2 and 6 years.
“This was a routine call,” Acevedo said. “What makes our job deadly is that there is no routine call.”
Two Walmart employees tackled and held the suspect and locked down the store until another police officer arrived to arrest him. Acevedo praised their actions, saying they did all they were supposed to do. He said store video captured the entire incident.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Austin city manager Chris Ott lamented the officer’s death.
“It is a sad day for the city of Austin to lose a member of our family,” Ott said.