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Details emerge in incident that prompted Walmart lockdown

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Authorities say a man and woman detained in an incident that prompted Thursday evening’s evacuation of the Walmart in Roswell had made it into the store before they were apprehended.
“They did end up entering the store before they were detained inside the store,” Chaves County Undersheriff Charles Yslas said. Security camera video from a camera behind the store showed a man and woman, who were later taken into custody, making their way through a field and jumping over a fence before going into the store through the store’s garden section.
Yslas said the man and woman were in the store for approximately five minutes before they were detained. Both were unarmed when they were found. Because no formal charges have been filed, their names have not been disclosed.
On Monday, Yslas said investigators have nearly wrapped up their investigation and are forwarding their findings to the Office of the District Attorney, where it will be determined what if any charges the two will face.
Authorities believe the couple — and another man who was wounded — had earlier been involved in a shootout with one another just before 4:30 p.m. on Devonian Road, which stemmed from a possible longstanding dispute between the two men.
Investigators believe the couple got into their vehicle and left the Devonian Road location. The man who was later wounded began pursuing the couple in his vehicle while both parties exchanged gunfire, Yslas said. The man pursuing the couple allegedly rammed their vehicle, forcing them to crash near Berrendo Elementary School on West Pine Lodge Road, Yslas said.
“The man pursuing the couple then began to walk back towards them while opening fire on them,” Yslas said. He added the man being chased then returned fire, striking the victim.
Witnesses then saw the couple running across the field west of Walmart while apparently armed at the time, Yslas said. Chaves County deputies, assisted by officers from the Roswell Police Department and New Mexico State Police, placed the Walmart in the 4500 block of North Main Street and the nearby Sam’s Club on lockdown.
Later it was learned there was no apparent danger to people within the store, but Yslas said law enforcement opted to evacuate the store. He added that a security sweep of the store was conducted. Employees and customers in both stores were ordered out into the parking lot while law enforcement carried out searches of each store.
“After clearing the businesses and deeming them safe, they were turned back over to management,” Yslas said.
The wounded man was taken to a hospital and as of Saturday was believed to be in stable condition. The investigation into the case remains ongoing.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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