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On May 30 at about 10:00 a.m., San Marcos Walmart customers were petrified when a man raged through the store, threatening to "shoot the place up,” according to a trembling and tearful witness.

She said she was shopping near the electronics department when the man started to rage. He said he was going to “shove things up the ass" of someone and "beat the hell" out of him.

"At first I felt sorry for whomever he was yelling at," the witness said. "Then I realized he wasn't yelling at anyone in particular." She went on to say that several customers "got out of there but didn't say a word. I felt as if I were running for my life.”

A wide-eyed clerk at a register said the man stormed by her while threatening to "kill everybody." She told the store manager who then called 911. Within minutes, two sheriff's deputies searched the store, but the man couldn't be found. Another sheriff's patrol car staked out the parking lot, but as of 10:30 a.m., the suspect hadn't been apprehended.

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Comments

Visduh June 1, 2011 @ 9:49 p.m.

"Couldn't be found", huh? More like they didn't look very hard. After all, whack jobs can be very unpredictable, and can be dangerous. So, the fewer law enforcement can find, the better. This character sounds like the garden-variety No County screwball, who seldom is a dangerous. Except when he's Richard Tuite and kills a 12-year old girl.

As for me, when I encounter these nut cases, I head the other direction and get out of the way. Who knows when the county mounties will show up and start pumping lead?

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William Howell June 1, 2011 @ 10:16 p.m.

Gee, Visduh, have a little problem with law enforcement recently? Gosh, could never tell.

Personally, it's situations like this that reinforce my decision to continue carrying my off duty weapon.

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villageram June 2, 2011 @ 12:31 p.m.

I am on Benderbills side for this one 'Duh-really?? You feel safer in company of roving and raging lunaticks then you do in company of policemen? If someone broke in to your house one night would you rather call a crazy person to save you or policemen? I am just trying to understand you.

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Visduh June 2, 2011 @ 8:06 p.m.

And I'm trying to understand what you just asked.

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Visduh June 2, 2011 @ 8:11 p.m.

Actually I haven't had a contact with law enforcement in years, and the last two or three times, I was reporting something that was real. No, we just seem to expect too much from the sheriffs' department here in No County, and often they just don't come through.

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Radical Uterus June 2, 2011 @ 12:06 p.m.

That whack job is a human being feeling the pain and frustration of his life and lacking coping skills lashes out in anger in the only way he knows how. Happens everyday everywhere. If he were properly medicated he could learn healthy coping skills, and perhaps become an inspiration instead of a threat.

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Visduh June 2, 2011 @ 8:14 p.m.

So the manager called the cops because a "customer" was threatening other customers. But the complainants couldn't provide a description or positive ID? Something doesn't sound right here.

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Twister June 2, 2011 @ 5:33 p.m.

Hit the floor or take action, weapon in hand (but probably hidden from view).

It's unfortunate that people go off like that (an increasingly indifferent and authoritarian culture does that to an increasing number of people), but making threats is aggression that may require force to cool off-- but sometimes the mentally ill can be soothed with sympathetic signals. However, it is best that this be done by professionals backed up with adequate force. That does not necessarily mean deadly force and officers, off-duty or otherwise should not be trigger-happy. IF the behavior becomes more than letting off steam and an attack is clearly imminent, it MIGHT be necessary to take the guy out. He might have been off his drugs or ON his drugs, street or otherwise. I had a bad reaction to a prescription Rx several years ago and had a very scary experience, almost killing myself, so I can perhaps dredge up a bit more sympathy for this kind of behavior that those who haven't had some kind of experience with brain wires being crossed. That does not mean that would not take the guy down if I had to, and even hurt him bad in the process.

Both the public and the professional officers should be trained to handle mental illness and such situations as this, but unfortunately there are a handful of citizens with a "caped crusader" complex who can turn crazier than the nutcase in an overzealous knee-jerk reaction to anything than doesn't fit their narrow view of what others' deportment should be.

I often find myself muttering, "There, but for the grace of God and a self-control mechanism that can be close to the edge, go I."

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