Wal-Mart Shooting in North Dakota: Police Searching for Motive - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Wal-Mart Shooting in North Dakota: Police Searching for Motive

Posted: Updated:

NBC News  

BISMARCK, N.D. — An autopsy will determine if a man had drugs or alcohol in his system when he fatally shot one worker and injured a second before killing himself at a North Dakota Wal-Mart store, police said Wednesday.

"It's probably the next significant development in this case," Grand Forks Police Lt. Derik Zimmel said. He did not know when autopsy results would be available.

Police said the shooting at the store in Grand Forks a few minutes after 1 a.m. Tuesday may have been random. Investigators have found no link between the gunman, 21-year-old Marcell Willis, and the store or the employees whom he shot.


"There's no apparent motive that jumps out at this time," Zimmel said.

Willis was stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, about a dozen miles west of the city.

"We just need to plug away and talk to witnesses and compile information and continue to flip over stones and rocks and compile every scrap we can," he said.

Police on Wednesday identified the victims as Gregory Weiland, 70, of Grand Forks, who was killed, and Lisa Braun, 47, of Grand Forks, who was injured. Braun is in satisfactory condition, Altru Hospital spokeswoman Angie Laxdal said Wednesday. There was no timeline for Braun's release.

Zimmel said authorities were not releasing the name of a third worker whom Willis shot at but missed. Willis was given medical treatment at the scene and taken to Altru, where he was pronounced dead, Zimmel said. Willis was the only person with a gun and no police officers fired a weapon, according to Zimmel. A handgun was recovered near Willis' body, Zimmel said.

Zimmel said police believe the airman fired only three shots before shooting himself. Police did not identify the type of handgun or its caliber.

Amy Mehs, Willis' girlfriend who lives in Hatton, North Dakota, about 35 miles southwest of Grand Forks, was in tears when contacted by The Associated Press Tuesday afternoon. "I really can't say anything right now because it's still under investigation," she said. "You guys will find out everything eventually."


Sean Willis of Nashville, Tennessee, said only that his son had been in the military for about three years and was originally from Springfield, Tennessee.

Sgt. David Dobrydney, a base spokesman, said he couldn't yet release any information about Willis due to Air Force regulations.

Powered by Frankly