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Customers, employees tackle gunman in Walmart parking lot

Walmart in Westminster, Colo. Feb. 8, 2013

Walmart in Westminster, Colo. Feb. 8, 2013

By Paula Vargas

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — After a gun was displayed during a heated fight outside of the Westminster Walmart on 94th and Sheridan Friday afternoon, a customer tackled and held the gunman until police arrived.

“What happened was two people were having a heated fight in the Walmart parking lot,” says Westminster police spokesman Trevor Materasso. The customer tackled the gunman before he could pull the gun out.

Police say the gunman, Cassidy Rhoads, was shouting and became further enraged when asked to calm down.

“A verbal argument between the two escalated and Rhoads reached for a handgun in his pants,” said Materasso.

When Rhoads reached for his handgun, a witness to the fight tackled Rhoads, according to police.

During the struggle between Rhoads and the witness, employees and several customers ran to help pin Rhoads, who hit his head on the pavement and was knocked unconscious.

Rhoads was arrested and transported to a local hospital for evaluation.

No others were injured.

According to police records, Rhoads, who is prohibited from carrying firearms due to his criminal history, faces several charges including possession of weapon.