Armed Man Takes Hostage In Texas Town Feds Forced To Accept Refugees

Houston Police Department/Handout via Reuters

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Police have shot and killed Mohammad Moghaddam, a 54-year-old man involved in an armed hostage taking situation at a Walmart in Amarillo, Texas, a town known for taking in a flood of refugees.

The hostages are now safe, following the conclusion of the situation at the local Walmart. Moghaddam entered Walmart and fired a minimum of one shot at the ceiling and took two hostages. SWAT officers soon arrived on the scene, and one hostage left the office Moghaddam had barricaded himself in, leading police to believe the situation was over. But it wasn’t over. SWAT entered the office and saw a second hostage. The officers fired shots at Moghaddam, killing him and ending the hostage crisis, according to a statement released by the Amarillo Police Department.  Neither hostage was harmed.

The initial statement from the APD in the afternoon read as follows.

“APD on scene with armed subject at the Walmart at Georgia and Canyon Drive. APD and several other agencies are on scene at the Walmart on georgia. There are reports of an armed subject inside who may have hostages. More info when it’s available. Please avoid the area so that officers can focus on the scene and not traffic.”

Police have since said the situation appears to be one of workplace violence. Apparently, there was a dispute because Moghaddam did not get a promotion. One of the hostages was his manager.

“There is no indication that this had anything to do with terrorism or the shooting that happened over the weekend in Orlando,” the APD added.

As of January 2016, Amarillo had the highest ratio of refugees in the entire country, and is home to over 1,000 of them from various Middle Eastern and East African countries. Texas officials have tried to fight the Obama administration’s refugee resettlement to little avail. Since the Obama administration forwarded the idea of funneling Syrian refugees into Texas, on top of existing refugee flows, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission filed a lawsuit against the federal government, which is pending. President Barack Obama wants 10,000 refugees in America by October 1.

“We’ve been a giving community, and it’s a huge disservice to bring in refugees in numbers that we’re not able to handle. We create small ghettos,” Mayor Paul Harpole told back in January.


An initial report from the local CBS affiliate identified the suspect as a Somali, but the report has since removed the reference.

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