Woman Wounds 3, Is Shot Dead by Police at Wal-Mart

ByABC News
May 22, 2001, 4:03 PM

R O C K F O R D, Ill., May 22 -- A woman accused of shoplifting at a Wal-Mart store in Rockford, Ill., shot and wounded three employees at the store today before police shot and killed her, authorities said.

One victim was reported in fair condition, while the other two were being treated for injuries that were not considered life-threatening. All three were Wal-Mart employees, police said.

Hospital officials identified the dead woman to The Associated Press as 33-year-old Laura Gassaway.

Woman Tried to Buy Ammo

Police said store employees confronted her and accused of shoplifting, and removed her to a back room used by store security. Police were summoned to the scene at about 1:45 p.m. local time.

When they arrived Gassaway pulled a gun and the two police officers fired at her, police said

The woman fired back, missing the officers but striking the three store employees.

She died shortly after at Rockford Memorial Hospital.

Store employees said the woman was attempting to buy ammunition, but was turned away because she did not have a Firearm Owners Identification Card, which is required by the state for such purposes.

She then allegedly shoplifted ammunition and was confronted by store security.

ABCNEWS affiliate WTVO in Rockford, Ill., contributed to this report.