An 18-year-old is behind bars after a .45 caliber gun he had concealed in his pocket while inside the Buckeye Walmart went off while in the store, endangering customers and employees.
Buckeye police arrested 18-year-old Maurice Eugene Weaver, Jr. who police say admitted to carrying the gun and it going off inside the Walmart while it was in his pants pocket.
No injuries were reported in the Sunday evening incident, although court documents state the reporting witness said she had ringing in her ears and a loss of hearing.
Buckeye police were called to the Walmart on Watson and Yuma Roads on around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The caller told police someone had just fired a gun inside the store.
“Almost every Buckeye police officer available at that time responded to the Walmart under the impression the incident was an active shooter situation,” the arresting officer stated in court documents.
Police arrived within minutes but were told by a witness who heard the shot that several teens were seen walking away from where the shot was fired. Officers located a bullet impact in the floor and fragments of the bullet scattered about. A shell casing was also located.
Store security cameras showed two subjects leaving the aisle and then the store, at the time the gun went off. Within minutes officers circulating the area saw subjects matching the description from the security camera in a car in the parking lot. Three subjects were detained and a .45 caliber handgun was found in the car with ammunition that matched the shell casing found at the scene.
One of the subjects being questioned, Mr. Weaver, had a torn section in his pants near his front right pocket which was like that of a handgun going off while in his pants.
Mr. Weaver was booked into the Maricopa County 4th Avenue Jail on suspicion of disorderly conduct involving weapons, endangerment, discharging a firearm in city limits, carrying a concealed weapon and criminal damage. The two other subjects were released.
Mr. Weaver was released on his own recognizance with court dates Sept. 23 and 30.