Police investigating shooting outside North Hammond Walmart

2013-05-19T20:40:00Z 2013-05-22T14:48:09Z Police investigating shooting outside North Hammond WalmartElvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | At least two people were hurt in a three-vehicle crash and shooting Sunday outside the North Hammond Walmart, police said.

The shooting happened in the store's parking lot at 1100 Fifth Ave. about 2:37 p.m., police said.

A 22-year-old woman who works at the store was grazed by a bullet but declined to seek medical attention, Hammond police Lt. Richard Hoyda said. Another unidentified person was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries suffered in the crash.

Hoyda said two unidentified men were leaving Walmart when they were approached in a confrontational manner by two vehicles with several people in each car. The two men ran to their car, grabbed a gun and began firing at the two vehicles, Hoyda said.

The two men then drove off in their vehicle toward Chicago, Hoyda said.

One of the vehicles from the confrontation stopped after its tires were shot at by the two men. The people in that vehicle were interviewed by police, Hoyda said.

Sometime during the incident, a parked vehicle was hit by one of the cars involved.

Hoyda said officers found multiple shell casings on the ground. 

No arrests had been made as of Sunday evening. Detectives were working Sunday to identify everyone involved in the crash and shooting.

As officers investigated Sunday afternoon how the shooting unfolded in the parking lot, a steady stream of customers continued coming in and out of the store pushing their carts around the crime tape.

A portion of a parking lane near the market entrance was roped off by police. Farther down the lane, police surrounded two vehicles with Illinois license plates that had all the doors opened.

Inside the store, the checkout lanes remained busy during the investigation. Managers at Walmart declined to comment.

Dennis Jafek, 49, of Seattle, said he visited the store twice Sunday and had no idea about the shooting. Jafek said he is temporarily living in the area while working at the BP Whiting Refinery. He said Sunday's incidents wouldn't stop him from shopping.

Karen Jones, 42, stopped by the Walmart on Sunday with her son to pick up dinner. She said she saw police cruisers in the parking lot as she parked but thought it was because of a crash.

"It's getting so bad out here," she said.

She said Sunday's incident wouldn't deter her from shopping at the store unless it became an ongoing problem.

The North Hammond Walmart opened in October 2011.

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