Walmart reopens in Forrest City 2 days after deadly officer-involved shooting

Walmart reopens in Forrest City 2 days after deadly officer-involved shooting
Some members of the community gathered inside Walmart in Forrest City for a prayer vigil before the store officially reopened after a deadly shooting two days earlier. (Source: WMC)

FORREST CITY, Ark. (WMC) - Walmart reopened Wednesday morning in Forrest City, Arkansas.

It’s been two days since a shooting inside the store in which two officers were injured and a suspect was killed.

The Walmart in Forrest City is back open after two officers were shot inside it earlier this week. Before doors opened the community held a prayer vigil.

Posted by Kelly Roberts WMC Action News 5 on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Before Walmart officially reopened, some members of the community gathered inside the store on Deaderick Road for a prayer vigil.

Around 10:30 Monday morning, police say a call came in about a man inside the store making threats. Two detectives who were nearby were some of the first officers on the scene.

Forrest City Walmart remians closed following fatal officer-involved shooting

Police Chief Deon Lee says Lt. Eric Varner and Detective Eugene Watlington encountered Bobby Gibbs inside the store and shots were fired. Varner and Watlington were both injured. Gibbs died at the scene.

Watlington remains in critical condition at a Memphis hospital, but he is expected to recover, according to Lee.

Varner was treated at the hospital in Forrest City and released the same day.

Arkansas State Police is still investigating the shooting. The motive remains unknown at this time.

Investigators look into motive in officer-involved shooting at Forrest City Walmart

On Wednesday, other Forrest City police officers joined store employees and community members in prayer.

“When all is done, we can count on the Lord,” said Pastor Rayfield Walker.

More than 100 people attended the vigil.

Pastor Walker also said a prayer for Gibbs.

“He has a family and his family will still be living in this community,” said Walker. “They need our support as well.”

The shopping commenced around 9 a.m. after the prayer vigil, bringing the Forrest City community one step closer to normalcy.

“The event that happened does not define Forrest City, Arkansas,” said Felicia Swanigan, store manager. “It does not define this Walmart.”

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