Senior staff writer
Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley has declared the Walmart in the 4600 block of South Emerson Avenue as a “public nuisance” a few days after shoplifter ran into a nearby restaurant and shot himself.
Police reports revealed that Gillace Monroe Samples, 42, and Johnny Maxey, 42, were detained by Walmart employees when Samples pulled a gun and fled. He ran into a nearby restaurant just north of Walmart, hid in the rest room and then shot himself in the head as authorities closed in.
Samples died from the self-inflicted wound Monday after being admitted in critical condition at Eskenazi Hospital. He had been wanted for parole violation and two additional charges stemming from a July 29 shooting in Indianapolis.
The incident happened last week and was the third such one since early June to draw national attention to the giant retailer and to the city.
In June a video showing two women fighting in an aisle at the store went viral. A few days later a shoplifter fled the store, drove away with police giving chase for a few miles before the suspect struck a vehicle in Fountain Square, killing the 63-year-old female driver.
Buckley was interviewed by local television reporters and declared that he would take the proper steps to identify the Walmart site as a public nuisance. He alluded to nearly 500 police runs to the store during the first five months of the year.
Beech Grove recently declared Motel 6, 5151 Elmwood Ave., as a public nuisance after several police runs there for alleged prostitution and drug dealing.
In mid-June, Buckley outlined a program after meeting with Walmart representatives that the retailer would beef up its in-store security in an effort to reduce police runs there.
Buckley contends that police resources should be used to protect residents, to lower crime and continue to make Beech Grove a safe place to live.
Once Wamart is declared a public nuisance, there is a 10-day grace period before the city would assess fines as high as $2,500 for ticketed police runs to the store.
Employees and security at Walmart acted properly, according to a company spokesperson, when Samples bolted from the store. An off-duty Marion County Sheriff’s deputy was working as a security guard.
Walmart authorities have implemented improved security and a first-time amnesty plan for shoplifters who cooperate with store security personnel after being caught.