The Cottonwood, Arizona, Walmart parking lot was the scene of a weekend fight that left one suspect dead and an officer shot, according to information provided by Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials and several witnesses.
Cottonwood Police Department received a call about a Walmart employee who had been assaulted by one of the suspects just before midnight.
Eight officers were also assaulted in the Walmart parking lot Saturday night (March 21, 2015) in a fight that left one suspect dead, another wounded, and seven in custody, according to officials.
The fight happened after the Cottonwood Police Department received a call at 11:52 p.m. from the Cottonwood Walmart reporting that a suspect shoved a female employee in a store bathroom.
When officers arrived, the suspects were in the parking lot and attacked the officers.
One suspect was shot and killed during the fight, another was shot in the abdomen, and a total of seven others were taken into custody, DPS said.
The suspects are from the same family, according to DPS spokesman Bart Graves. The seven in custody, five adult males, a woman, and a female juvenile, refused to provide their names, Graves said.
The suspects were booked as John and Jane Does on suspicion of aggravated assault, attempted homicide, obstruction of justice, and a separate assault charge related to the Walmart loss-prevention officer, who suffered a broken arm, Graves said.
All suspects involved were members of the same family who were driving a Suburban SUV with Idaho license plates and had been camping for at least four days in the parking lot according to one report.
The man who was shot and killed in the incident had spent the last few days of his life playing a guitar at a side exit to the store, asking for money, a witness said.
One officer was shot in the leg and the other seven were left with cuts and bruises.
“We do believe that there was a struggle for an officer’s weapon, there is an ongoing investigation on that,” Graves said.
The officer that was shot in the leg is 31 years old and has been with Cottonwood police for 10 years, the release said. He was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center for surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.
DPS and local police cleared the scene just after noon Sunday. Dozens of cars circled around the area where the shooting occurred near the back end of the parking lot.
Store management met with Cottonwood Police yesterday (March 24, 2015), to figure out how to keep people from camping overnight at the store.
Details of the meeting are unavailable.
Unfortunately, some campers take advantage of Walmart’s generosity and call the parking lot home for days.
Overnight Parking Etiquette
Some of the most respected RV consumer clubs have joined together to support your right to park on private businesses’ parking lots overnight under the following code of conduct. The code pertains to establishments that permit “dry camping” on their lots. Dry camping means camping without the use of external hookups for electricity, water supply, or waste disposal.
Industry-Sanctioned Code of Conduct (RVers’ Good Neighbor Policy)
Stay one night only!
Obtain permission from a qualified individual.
Obey posted regulations.
No awnings, chairs, or barbecue grills outside your RV.
Do not use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces (including asphalt).
Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.
Purchase gas, food, or supplies as a form of thank you, when feasible.
Be safe! Always be aware of your surroundings and leave if you feel unsafe.
If your plans include touring the area, staying for more than one night, or necessitate conduct not within the code, please relocate to a local campground. It’s the right thing to do!
GOD IS GREAT, BEER IS GOOD, and PEOPLE ARE CRAZY!