Petco employees' quick thinking praised
The Pocatello and Chubbuck community is still talking about Thursday night after a man was shot and killed by a Bannock County sheriff's deputy.
Police say the whole thing started after Bradley Allen Wilson’s mother called asking police to check on him, after receiving some worrisome texts and phone calls.
When police tracked the GPS on his phone to the Jackson's across the street from the Idaho State University campus, he led them on a high-speed chase that ended near the Petco in Chubbuck.
Police saiday Wilson entered the Petco and demanded car keys. That's when he took a hostage.
While it all happened very quickly, at times he would put the gun to his head and the head of his hostage. That's why the deputy took the shot and killed Wilson.
The hostage was not physically injured.
Friday we learned more details about this shooting and hostage situation, from employees who told us their experience during this nerve-wracking ordeal.
When Travis Rediker first heard loud voices at the front of this Petco store, he thought nothing of it, with loud animals in the store all the time.
But when a customer and his 2-year old daughter came to the back and told Rediker that there was a man with a gun, he immediately took action.
"My first thought was to send him out the back door. I didn't want the alarm going off in case he was still in the store,” said Rediker, the lead dog trainer. “That was the only thing I could really think of.”
Rediker locked the man and his daughter in Petco's wellness room in the back of the store. Up front, 30-year old Wilson had demanded car keys, and when a teenage customer offered his keys, he was taken hostage.
"The kid that was taken out as a hostage, I'd actually just got done helping him for probably a good half an hour," Rediker said.
Rediker didn't know that Wilson had left, and thought he was still inside the store.
Another employee followed Wilson and immediately turned off the automatic doors, and locked all the customers inside.
"The associate who followed very closely behind the gunman to lock the doors has a baby at home,” Mike Fuller, general manager, said. “And he put the safety of everybody here ahead of himself, and that just speaks volumes for him."
Wilson did try to re-enter the store when confronted by law enforcement. But from the inside, witnesses and employees heard a single shot.
A Bannock County deputy had determined the hostage was in danger, and shot Wilson. Officers came in and swept through every aisle to ensure the danger had passed.
"I have kids at home too,” Fuller said. “It's an emotional thing, to know what could have happened."
Local law enforcement has also credited the employee with his bravery and quick-thinking.
"He was very intelligent in thinking that once that individual was out of his business,” said Chubbuck Police Chief Randy Severe. “He locked the doors so he couldn't come back in.”
The employee who locked the door behind Wilson may very well have saved a lot of lives, and stopped a bad situation from becoming even worse.
Bannock County, Pocatello and Chubbuck law enforcement was involved Thursday, and even Search and Rescue was on the scene.
This means that Blackfoot and Bingham County law enforcement will be conducting the investigation, as is procedure with any officer involved shooting.
Officials also say that Wilson had a history with law enforcement.
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