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‘Cold heart, no compassion;’  Gun debate looms after fatal Walmart shooting at Butler Co.

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There is new information today about the fatal shooting inside a Butler County Walmart.

Anthony Brown is being held in Butler County Jail after being arrested following a SWAT confrontation in Middletown.

Fairfield Township police say Brown told employees to give him phones and when a shopper identified as Adam Black, 35, of Columbus, tried to arrest him, police say Brown fired and killed Black.

News Center 7’s Mike Campbell has been following the story all day and trying to find out if Brown was carrying the gun legally.

>> RELATED: UPDATE: Columbus man killed at Fairfield Twp. shooting at Walmart; $5 million bail for suspect

The Walmart store on Princeton Road in Fairfield Twp. was closed all day Friday except for employees helping to clean the store and meeting for advice.

Gunshots are another focal point of the gun debate and leave another community trying to make sense of deadly violence.

A customer said, “I opened my door and was about to come in, and I heard gunshots.”

The customer said he saw a Walmart employee fall to the ground and run towards his car. He later learned that the shooter had also shot and killed a customer as he tried to flee the store.

“I ran to my car. It was weird. The Texas case happened, then this happened,” the client said.

Another customer said, “You hear gunshots ringing out in a store, the first thing that comes to mind is an active shooter situation.”

Police say Brown ran out of the store and briefly escaped. Multiple agencies picked up reports overnight that he had locked himself in a hotel in Middletown.

A SWAT team surrounded the building, police said, Brown then jumped out of the first floor window and ran, dropping a handgun. He was quickly found and arrested.

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Fairfield police called it a big relief, considering the crimes Brown is charged with.

Captain Doug Lanier said: “And the circumstances, just to be so cold and without compassion for human life. So it’s a great feeling.

Pam Abner, who lives in Butler County, said: “This whole gun thing is so sad. It’s crazy.

Abner heard about the shooting Friday morning. She was among hundreds who were turned away from the store as employees informed people it was closed.

Brown appeared in front of a judge Friday morning and was given $5 million bond. Court documents show Brown was already on bail after he was charged months ago with an armed robbery at a Butler County drive-thru.

Abner said she and her husband are both CCW-licensed and the violence that occurs hurts responsible gun owners. But she does not want to see law-abiding citizens prevented from arming themselves.

“I feel like if a person wants to get a gun, they’re going to get a gun, whether the law says they can have one or not,” Abner said.

There is a small display of flowers at an entrance to the closed Walmart store to remember the customer who was killed in the incident and the employee being treated at a local hospital.

Brown has at least one fourth-degree felony in his past, but Ohio law said he couldn’t carry a gun because he was charged with a crime of violence, charged with that robbery at gunpoint in Hamilton a few months ago.

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