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Update: Walmart Fatal Shooting in Evansville, Indiana: What We Know Thus Far

A former employee was fatally shot by police Thursday, January 19th after he opened fire inside an Indiana Walmart, critically wounding one victim, according to local authorities. Following up on the incident that took place last week, we’ve learned many of the details surrounding the incident. However, there still remain questions that need to be answered. Here’s what we’ve learned thus far based on various sources and police accounts:

At approximately 10:00 pm, former Walmart employee identified by police as Ronald Mosley II, 25, entered the Walmart in Evansville, Indiana, interrupting the nightly team meeting where employees had gathered in the store breakroom. Carrying a 9mm handgun, Mosley reportedly told a group of about a dozen employees to line up against a wall while ordering Amber Cook and another male employee, Gary Cardwell, to remain in the center of the room. He then approached Cook and shot her in the face. The male employee—whom Mosley was also targeting—bolted out of the room, and Mosley gave chase.

“It was a lot scarier than you can image, just having that gun pointed at you,” says Cardwell. He credits previous active shooter training with saving his life, adding that the training took over, providing him with a simple but critical message. “In those situations, they say run, hide, or fight,” he said. “I chose to run.”

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During the turmoil, Heather Moore—the overnight team leader—was able to leave the room undetected and called 911. When Mosley chased the male employee from the breakroom, she then ran back into the room to provide assistance to the victim, taking her into another room, locking the door, and turning out the lights before Mosley returned looking for his wounded victim. Police believe her actions saved Cook’s life.

“I have no doubt that he (Mosley) was going back to finish what he started, and we would probably have a dead victim today instead of one that’s alive,” says Evansville Chief of Police Billy Bolin.

Bodycam footage courtesy of Evansville Police Department.

Law enforcement officers responded within minutes, confronting Mosley at the exit before he ran back into the store. This was followed by Mosley firing at officers as he was attempting to flee. The ordeal lasted about 15 minutes before Mosley was eventually killed. There were approximately 40 employees and 40 customers in the store at the time the incident began, but no one else was injured.

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“There was multiple times that he was actually shooting at officers before they actually were able to shoot him,” police spokeswoman sergeant Anna Gray told reporters during a briefing Thursday night.

What Led to the Shooting?

According to reports, Mosley had a history of violent behavior, and the shooting marked at least the second time he attacked Walmart employees. Police say he was charged with four counts of misdemeanor battery after he assaulted four people inside the store in May of 2022.

According to court records, Mosley was an employee at the time. While working in the store, he reportedly assaulted a fellow worker, punching him in the face and throwing him to the ground. He later told police he “blacked out” after that, but continued moving through the store, walking into the office where he began hitting another employee “in the face as he was sitting down.” When the manager stepped in to try to separate the two, Mosley shoved the manager against the wall. Police say Mosley then followed the victim into the store and continued attacking him. He also reportedly punched another nearby employee in the shoulder.

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In the affidavit, Mosley claimed he’d had issues with people at work and “lost control.” A man who was one of those victims told police that before the attack Mosley was “mad at him” because he told Mosley he had no romantic interest in him, according to the affidavit. Police indicate that his employment was terminated following the incident.

In a separate incident, court records further indicate that Mosley was also charged with “Battery Resulting in Bodily Injury” in April of 2019. Additional information from that incident was redacted and is not currently available for public access.

Following the 2022 attack at the store, Mosley pleaded guilty to four counts of battery, and the case was referred to Vanderburgh County’s mental health court, county prosecutor Diana Moers, said Friday. Moers said Mosley had to check in with authorities about every two weeks and had been complying with court-ordered mental health treatment. She added that the gunman had in fact been in court Thursday afternoon—the day of the shooting.

However, about four months after the April incident he wrote in a Facebook post that he “had a dream I beat up (two of the employees) again… Best (expletive) dream ever.” Several people responded to the thread and accused Mosley of threatening to hurt or kill other Walmart employees.

According to Jenny Couch, the mother of Amber Cook, her daughter was targeted by Mosley because “he was in love with her boyfriend…when (the boyfriend) told Mosley that he wasn’t interested in him romantically, Mosley became angry with Cook and threatened to kill her,” she told a local news station. “He kept sending my daughter messages…He kept calling her, telling her that he was going to kill her, that he watched her walk her dog.”

Police say a suicide note was later found at the gunman’s home. “He absolutely planned to die last night,” said Chief Bolin. “It’s really sad when you hear that somebody is in that state, and at the same time, it makes you angry.”

Investigators do not yet know how or when Mosley acquired the handgun, or how many shots he fired. According to Indiana records, Mosley had five active protective orders against him. However, a protective order in Indiana does not immediately disqualify a person from owning a handgun. None of the protective orders noted that he had been ordered by a judge not to have a handgun as a condition of the order.

Victim Remains in Critical Condition

Evansville police said Friday that Amber Cook, the victim of the shooting, was in stable condition after being taken by helicopter to a hospital in Indianapolis.

Cook is facing a long journey of recovery after the shooting. Her mother reports she’s already had two surgeries, and her right eye had to be removed. Further surgeries are anticipated, to include reconstructing the top of her forehead, her lower jawline, and her nose. Severe swelling and other potential concerns will ultimately dictate the timeline for those procedures. She also added that Amber will be dealing with the mental health aspects of the incident for the rest of her life.

Despite life-threatening injuries, Couch reports that her daughter is “very strong…strong-willed, strong-headed.” Amber is surrounded by loved ones at an Indianapolis hospital. She is talking, and they are encouraging her to eat. Her mom added that Amber plans to get back to everyone who has reached out when she’s feeling better.

The Walmart Team Responds

Both Cardwell and the family of Amber Cook shared gratitude for the response from their fellow employees, with Cardwell referring to his fellow associates as his “Walmart family” based on their ongoing support following the incident.

Based on what we’ve learned thus far, it’s fair to say that in the face of tragic and intense circumstances, the team at the store responded in a way that should be commended. The results very clearly could have been much worse. Based on the available information it appears that they followed appropriate training and protocols, and showed both courage and common sense in their response. Local authorities also praised that response, reinforcing that their actions and decisions saved lives.

Walmart reports that at this point the store has not reopened. “The store remains closed while we provide support to our associates and determine next steps. An appropriate reopening date has yet to be finalized.”

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