Shot fired at Wal-Mart in Warner Robins

WARNER ROBINS — About 30 law enforcement officers from Warner Robins, Houston County and Centerville converged on the northwest corner of Warner Robins after a 911 call at 3:20 p.m. Wednesday of a fight and shots fired outside the Wal-Mart Supercenter, 2720 Watson Blvd., police said.

Four people were in police custody late Wednesday after an argument among two groups of people escalated into a single shot being fired into the air and the shooter and three others fleeing in a 1996 Crown Victoria, police said.

No one was injured in the incident, said Warner Robins police Lt. Chris Rooks.

The four people were being questioned late Wednesday and charges were placed against three of them, all from Warner Robins, Rooks said.

Dendrick Montford, 18, was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, reckless conduct and obstruction of an officer; Antonio Black, 18, was charged with obstruction of an officer, fleeing/attempting to elude, reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road and speeding; and Brianna James, 20, was charged with obstruction of an officer, according to a Warner Robins police news release issued late Wednesday.

The shot was fired from inside a Crown Victoria in the parking lot, Rooks said.

Warner Robins police officer Tim Pippio, who was on a motorcycle, was westbound on Elberta Road responding to the 911 dispatch when he spotted the Crown Victoria headed east toward him, Warner Robins police Lt. Todd Edwards said.

Pippio was able to quickly turn around as the car sped off and was able to keep the car in sight, Edwards said.

“If he hadn’t been able to keep them in sight, there’s no telling. We probably would have lost them,” Edwards said.

But Pippio was not able to get close enough to attempt to pull over the car, Wagner said. Initial reports included that police had chased the driver but he refused to pull over.

“We could see the car but never get close to it,” Wagner said.

Pippio caught up with the car in Wilshire Estates, a mobile home park off North Houston Road, where the driver pulled the car to a stop between two mobile homes, Edwards said.

A man got out of the car and lay face down on the ground, but then the car pulled off, Edwards said.

However, the Crown Victoria’s driver found himself boxed in by other mobile homes in a grassy area. The driver got out and ran on foot, crossing North Houston Road where he was captured by officers in a wooded area, Edwards said.

One female passenger responded to Pippio’s commands to come to him, while the other female passenger walked off in another direction but was taken into custody by Centerville police.

A handgun and ammunition were recovered in the mobile home park near where the driver was, between the two mobile homes and then into the grassy area, Edwards said. Orange paint marked the spot where police found the car before towing it away for crime scene analysis.

Nearby Northside Middle School was on lockdown during the incident, said Warner Robins police Sgt. Porter Wood, a school resource officer.

Joe Wade, 44, of Warner Robins, had stopped at the Wal-Mart to pick up some fishing supplies when he noticed two men arguing near the east front entrance.

He came out about 15 minutes later and put his supplies and snacks in his pickup truck and went back in to McDonald’s inside the Wal-Mart to grab a sandwich and a soft drink.

When he came back out, a crowd had gathered and crime scene tape was around his pickup.

He was told by someone in the crowd that a car had cut off another vehicle in the parking lot and shots had been fired. He figured it was the two men who had been arguing.

“I wasn’t expecting a shooting,” Wade said when he came outside and saw the commotion. “I thought there had been a hit-and-run or something.”

Wal-Mart remained opened, with most people apparently unaware of the incident.

The crime scene tape, which encircled a small section across three rows, went down almost as quickly as it went up. Meanwhile, shoppers came and left the busy store, including one woman who was putting her two children in their car seats. One was holding a piece of the crime scene tape that she said a Warner Robins officer had given the child.

The incident remains under investigation and police are seeking to identify the other people involved. Anyone with information is asked to contact Warner Robins police detective Shane Mann at 929-6911 or 929-6909.