‘He acted alone’: Police close Wal-Mart shooting case
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Grand Forks police have wrapped up their investigation of the May shooting at the southside Wal-Mart Supercenter that left two people, including the gunman, dead, and found a 21-year-old airman was the sole person responsible...
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Grand Forks police have wrapped up their investigation of the May shooting at the southside Wal-Mart Supercenter that left two people, including the gunman, dead, and found a 21-year-old airman was the sole person responsible for the shooting and had no apparent motive.
Marcell Travon Willis, an active duty senior airman at Grand Forks Air Force Base, originally of Springfield, Tenn., walked into the Wal-Mart at 2551 32nd Ave. S. shortly after 1 a.m. May 26 and shot two Wal-Mart employees with a 9 mm handgun, injuring one and killing the other. He then shot at, but missed, a third employee before ending his own life.
In the end, police found “no apparent or obvious motive” behind the shooting, according to a news release issued Wednesday morning. Final autopsy results revealed Willis did not have any drugs in his system, though he did have a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent, according to the news release.
Though two people were with Willis in the gray Ford Fusion he drove to Wal-Mart, they did not go into the Wal-Mart and had no prior knowledge of his intentions, police said.
Investigators did not find anyone who had any advance warning of Willis’ intentions that May night, the news release says. No criminal charges are being pursued, and the case is considered inactive.
The investigation found Willis had spent the day leading up to the shooting hanging out and drinking with friends, who all said they noticed nothing unusual about his behavior, the release says.
Just before the shooting, Willis picked up two friends and drove around town, the release says. He told his friends he wanted to pick up another friend at Wal-Mart, the release says. Willis parked his car east of the grocery entry to Wal-Mart and on his way into the store posted to Facebook “RIP to me Love Yall.”
Police also released clips of Wal-Mart surveillance video that shows Willis entering the store, walking around the store and leaving. The clips do not show any images of the actual shooting.
Lisa Braun, 47, and Gregory Weiland, 70, were both shot by Willis. Weiland was pronounced dead at the scene, while Braun was transported to Altru Hospital.
Braun, an overnight general manager who has worked at Wal-Mart since September 2009, was released from the hospital several days later.
Weiland, formerly a farmer outside Thief River Falls, was an overnight cashier and had worked at Wal-Mart for nearly 25 years.