An 18-year-old man charged with opening fire at a Columbia Walmart used a firearm that was defaced and reported stolen as he shot toward employees, a shopper and his child, according to charging documents released Tuesday.
Boone County prosecutors on Saturday charged Jamie Anton Jackson of Columbia with two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and one count each of armed criminal action and child endangerment in the Friday evening incident at the Walmart located at 3001 West Broadway.
Marius Juncu of the Columbia Police Department wrote in a probable cause statement that Jackson was in a restricted area of the store about 11:25 p.m. when an employee tried to detain him and a struggle took place. Jackson was carrying in his waistband a firearm and an extended magazine. The employee was able to grab the magazine, but not the weapon, police wrote in the news release.
Jackson then fled toward the southwest front entrance of the store, Juncu wrote. A witness told police he was standing near the entrance when he saw Jackson coming toward him with a weapon. As Jackson approached, the witness heard him say, “He (the employee) shouldn’t have tackled me,” and “I’m a (expletive) cap you guys, you don’t know who I am,” according to the affidavit.
Another witness told police that Jackson told him to “get back” multiple times just before he fired six or seven shots into the store from near the entrance. Another witness told police he was in the self-checkout area with his daughter when he saw Jackson fire toward them and employees. All the witnesses reported the shots came through the front windows of the store.
No one was hurt in the incident. Police located six shell casings near the area, according to the affidavit. Jackson then fled the scene, but police wrote in the news release a witness was able to provide information he traveled to a nearby hotel, where police later located him. He was taken into custody and a firearm was located on the floorboard of the vehicle he allegedly used to flee the scene.
Following his arrest, Jackson allegedly admitted firing into the store and placing the gun on the floorboard of the vehicle, Juncu wrote. The weapon recovered by police was stolen and the serial number was obscured.
Jackson was booked at Boone County Jail without the possibility of bond.
Jackson was set to make an initial appearance before Associate Circuit Judge Stephanie Morrell at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Boone County. It’s not clear if he has an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Police wrote in the affidavit Jackson was arrested in January 2018 on suspicion of first-degree robbery and found in possession of a stolen handgun at that time as well. The charge does not appear in online court records.
Jackson has charges pending in Boone County for several lesser crimes. Those include charges filed in October for second-degree trespassing and first-degree trespassing, both misdemeanors. In November, he was charged with first-degree motor vehicle tampering, a class D felony.
Jackson was free on bond in those cases when arrested early Saturday.
Contacted for a statement Tuesday afternoon, Walmart spokeswoman Casey Staheli wrote in an email the company is thankful no one was injured.
“Their safety is always our first priority," Staheli wrote. "We appreciate the quick response by Columbia police and are glad they’ve apprehended the suspect. We’ll continue working with law enforcement as they investigate.”
Staheli declined to comment on whether the incident would affect store policy. Corporate policy discourages, but does not expressly prohibit the possession of firearms in states where residents are allowed to carry guns openly.
In September, after 22 people were killed by a gunman at a retail location in El Paso Texas, CEO Doug McMillon issued a letter containing a number of firearm policy changes and a “respectful request” patrons leave their guns outside.
“These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them, so we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where ‘open carry’ is permitted, unless they are authorized law enforcement officers,” McMillon wrote.