Law enforcement’s quick response to Grafton Walmart shooting in part due to parade prep

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 5:31 PM EDT
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GRAFTON, W.Va (WDTV) - Monday afternoon, a shooting at the Grafton Walmart left two people in the hospital.

First responders got the call of the shooting a little more than an hour after one of the largest Memorial Day Parades in the country ended in downtown Grafton.

Taylor County Sheriff Terry Austin says law enforcement was still in place from the parade and ready for anything.

He says the reaction from shoppers to get away from the scene and call for help allowed for the situation to get quickly under control.

“And that’s the reason we had officers there that jumped in the cruisers and headed that way and got to the scene,” said Austin.

Austin says he’s confident if a similar situation happened during the parade, it would’ve been handled just as successfully.

Austin says it was all hands-on deck with other first responders, like fire and EMS helping too, because, as Austin says, when it rains, it pours. Several other unrelated calls also needed answering while this was all happening.

“There’s a lot of things behind the scenes that people wont see, officers going in different directions to try and apprehend this suspect,” said Austin.

Austin says it was a joint effort with other agencies across the state to “close the gap” around the suspect.

Although we still don’t know many of the details leading up to the shooting or the end of the chase in Marion County, Sheriff Austin says he’s grateful for everyone’s cooperation despite the tragedy and chaos.

Austin also wants people to know even though the shooting was scary, the situation is safe now.

“Seek somebody to talk to, get ahold of our department or the city police department, and we’ll make sure they get help getting through any of the problems they might have because it is a traumatic experience,” said Austin.