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Gunman Dead After Two Officers Shot At Eastern Arkansas Walmart

FORREST CITY, Ark. (KTHV) — Two Forrest City police officers were shot and one suspect was killed at a local Walmart, according to the Forrest City police chief...

FORREST CITY, Ark. (KTHV) — Two Forrest City police officers were shot and one suspect was killed at a local Walmart, according to the Forrest City police chief.

Gunman Dead After Two Officers Shot At Eastern Arkansas Walmart

Authorities have identified the suspect as Bobby Joe Gibbs, a 40-year-old from Forrest City, though the state crime lab has not confirmed his identity.

Police say officers were called to the store Monday morning after the suspect, a man in his early 40s, allegedly began making threats.

He reportedly was saying he was planning to blow up the Walmart.

During a press conference, Chief Deon Lee said the suspect was "talking out of his head" when officers arrived on the scene.

After officers approached the suspect, he allegedly opened fire, striking both officers.

One officer has been airlifted to a nearby hospital and the other was transported to another hospital.

The officers have been identified as Lieutenant Eric Varner and Detective Eugene Watlington.

According to our Tegna station in Memphis, WTAN, Varner is recovering, but Watlington was hit in the chest and is in critical condition. A GoFundMe account has been set up for Watlington.

Lee said that the two officers were not wearing protective vests or body cameras during the shooting.

Forrest City Mayor Cedric Williams called the shooting a "tragic event" and that the Arkansas State Police has taken over the investigation into the shooting.

Both Williams and Lee emphasized how if it wasn't for the heroic and quick response of the officers and first responders involved, the incident could have been worse.

In a statement, Walmart said it is aware of the incident and will work with the Forrest City Police Department during the investigation.

In a statement, Walmart said it is aware of the incident and will work with the Forrest City Police Department during the investigation.

"The prayers and thoughts of the ASP are with the two Forrest City Police Officers that were injured this morning in a shooting at the Walmart store, located in Forrest City."

Walmart released the following statement:

"We are aware of the incident that took place at our store in Forrest City, AR this morning. We will continue to work with the Forrest City Police Department to assist in their investigation.As this is an active investigation, any additional questions should be referred to the Forrest City Police Department."

Senator John Boozman tweeted the following statement:

"My thoughts are with the officers wounded while responding to an incident in Forrest City today. I'm monitoring the situation and updates as they become available. We're grateful for the selfless service our law enforcement and pray for the full recovery of these public servants."

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This story will be updated with more information at it becomes available.