EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A man with a weapon reportedly threatening customers at a northeastern Pennsylvania Wal-Mart was shot and killed by officers, state police said.
Police in Monroe County said Sunday that Andrew Joseph Todd, 20, of Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania, was shot when he refused officers’ orders to drop his weapon inside the Wal-Mart in East Stroudsburg late Saturday.
Police were dispatched to the store shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday after reports of an armed man threatening and pointing a weapon at customers. Officials say about 100 people were in the store at the time.
State police said officers ordered Todd to drop his weapon, but he refused “and continued to point the weapon at the officers.” Police then fired, striking Todd in the upper chest. He was transported to Pocono Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead by the Monroe County coroner.
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State police said there were more than 100 customers in the store at the time, but no customers or officers were injured.
The Pocono Record reported that Todd was carrying two guns and a machete. James Felz of East Stroudsburg told the paper that he and his family were in the layaway area of the store by the garden section when they heard people shouting and three shots fired. He said he turned and saw a man with a black handgun in his left hand and a machete in his right walking down the last aisle.
“He was walking away from us down the aisle holding the gun to his head. He threw a backpack he was carrying to the side. Then he got to the end of the aisle, he turned right and pointed the gun, like around the corner. I heard a click, like a misfire or a BB gun go off,” Felz said.
Stroudsburg resident Chris Torino told The (Allentown) Morning Call that he was in the store’s home and garden section when he saw the man dressed in black with a bandanna over his face holding a handgun to his own head before he went into a different aisle and Torino lost sight of him.
“People started screaming and going frantic. They were saying, ‘Look, look, look!'” Torino said.
Police quickly converged on the store carrying assault rifles and told shoppers to evacuate, and Torino said people screamed and scrambled to the nearest exists, dropping shopping bags on their way out the door. He said he heard at least one shot fired as he left the store.