Suspect in Colorado Walmart killings called hostile loner
THORNTON, Colo. (AP) — A man arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting three people inside a suburban Denver Walmart was described Thursday by neighbors as a hostile loner who cursed at them and often carried a shotgun in and out of his third-floor apartment.
Police arrested Scott Ostrem, 37, a day after the shooting that killed three people following a brief morning rush-hour chase in the northern Denver suburb of Thornton several blocks from his apartment building and about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the Walmart.
Ostrem was handcuffed at a crowded intersection about 14 hours after the shooting, which killed two men and a woman and sent dozens of shoppers and workers fleeing in panic from the busy store. Police spokesman Victor Avila declined to say whether Ostrem had a weapon.
Identified as the victims were Pamela Marques, 52, of Denver; Carlos Moreno, 66, of Thornton; and Victor Vasquez, 26, of Denver, said Adams County Coroner Monica Broncucia-Jordan. None were Walmart employees.
Police did not disclose if they they had not determined a motive for the shooting, but residents of the Samuel Park Apartments building where Ostrem lived described him as a rude man who kept to himself.
Most of the building’s tenants talk to each other, but renter Teresa Muniz said Ostrem never returned her greetings and swore at people for sitting on exterior stairways and leaving laundry in communal machines.
“He didn’t seem to have anybody,” she said. “Being angry all the time. That’s what he seemed like, always angry.”
Muniz said she sometimes saw Ostrem carrying a shotgun or a bow and set of arrows to and from the building, which faces the back side of a liquor store, a dollar store and a cellphone store.
Gerald Burnett, a 63-year-old retiree who lives in a first-floor unit, said he was sitting on the stairs drinking coffee one morning when Ostrem came down, told him to move and cursed at him.
“Dude had an attitude, big time,” Burnett said. “He’s the type of person if you said ‘good morning,’ he wouldn’t say nothing. If you greeted him, he wouldn’t say anything back. I just learned not to even talk to the clown.”
Thornton, one of Denver’s larger suburbs, is a mostly blue-collar community where about a third of its 136,000 residents identify as Hispanic or Latino.