Maskless Florida Walmart shopper pulls gun on customer who told him to wear face mask, flips finger at another

The gunman at Walmart's store in Royal Palm Beach also gave the finger to a second masked man pictured in the images released


                            Maskless Florida Walmart shopper pulls gun on customer who told him to wear face mask, flips finger at another
(Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office)
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PALM BEACH, FLORIDA: A shopper in a Florida Walmart, who was roaming without a face mask and pushing a wheelchair, pulled a gun on another customer in front of a child during a dispute over face coverings, according to reports. The Palm Beach Sheriff's Office said the incident was caught on surveillance video at Walmart's store in Royal Palm Beach last week on Sunday, July 12. 

Shortly after the incident, the department released images of the gunman having a confrontation with another customer, who was wearing a mask. Police officials later began a hunt for the man, who has not been named, until they found the suspect on Wednesday, July 15. Officials said the suspect's motive for pulling out a weapon continues to be under investigation. In the images released by the Sheriff's Office, a young girl can also be seen pulling the arm of the masked customer. It is alleged that the gunman also gave the finger to a second masked man pictured in the images released.

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The gunman was reportedly pushing an elderly man in a wheelchair who appeared to be holding a red cloth to his face. It is believed that he left the store in a white van. A witness of the incident also posted a video of the confrontation on YouTube, showing a brief encounter between the men.

The confrontation occurred just days before Walmart introduced a mandatory face mask policy requiring all customers to wear face coverings at all of its namesake and Sam's Club stores. Walmart, on Wednesday, became the largest etailer to introduce such a policy amid the coronavirus pandemic. The company, in a statement, said its policy would go into effect next week, July 20, in an effort to allow time to inform stores and customers. The statement added that at least 65 percent of the company's stores are already in regions that require face coverings in stores.

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Although the sheriff's office declined to name the gunman, they said he was cooperating with an investigation probing why he brandished his weapon in the store. Sheriff's spokesperson Teri Barbera, in an email to the Sun-Sentinel, said: "The suspect has been identified and is cooperating with the investigation. The investigation is still open and active." Officers had sought public help in an attempt to locate the gunman.

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In a similar incident, a man in a Costco had charged toward an elderly woman after she asked him to wear a mask. The incident came to light after a video of the incident was shared on Twitter by Billy Corben, who wrote: "Florida man at Fort Myers Costco in "Running the World Since 1776" shirt flips out on elderly woman who asked him to wear a mask and man who defended her #BecauseFlorida (via @profjaffar)."

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Dozens of social media users later took to Twitter to slam the White man for yelling "I feel threatened" and charging towards an elderly woman after she asked to him to wear a mask. The man was later identified as Dan Maples by Twitter users as they established that he worked at Ted Todd Insurance. Hours after social media users called on the insurance company to fire him, the company released a statement announcing Maples' termination. "Threatening behavior and intimidation go against our mission to be trusted advisors in our community. We are also committed to immediately reviewing our internal existing culture at TTI. We ask that further feedback be sent to [email protected] Charley Todd, CEO."

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