Phoenix Walmart support manager shot and killed, suspect loose

PHOENIX - Phoenix police say a worker at a Walmart store has been shot and killed during a robbery attempt.

Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson says the employee of the west Phoenix Walmart Supercenter near 75th Avenue and McDowell Road was killed shortly after midnight Saturday.

Thompson says two employees were collecting cash from the store's registers and placing it in a shopping cart when a man with a handgun came up and told them he was robbing them. The gunman grabbed the cart and began pushing it out of the store as other employees were alerted to the robbery.

Thompson says 47-year-old support manager Peter Marquez was outside with another employee and they ran to the front doors. As they approached the robber with the cart, the suspect pointed his gun at both individuals and shot Marquez in the chest.

Marquez was taken to the hospital where he died.

The gunman fled the scene eastbound through the parking lot, stopping briefly where he removed a portion of the money. He then crossed 75th Avenue and jumped over the fence of a residence, according to police.

A perimeter search utilizing K-9 units and helicopters was unsuccessful in locating the suspect.

Marquez was transported to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries.

The suspect is described as a white or Hispanic male in his 20s-30s, with a thin build and about 5 feet 9 inches tall and wearing blue jeans, dark shoes, and a dark gray, long-sleeved hoodie.

Police provided store surveillance photos, anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stop at 602-262-6161 or Violent Crimes at 602-262-6141.

Walmart spokesperson Dianna Gee released the following statement:

"We are extremely saddened by what took place. Pete was well respected by his fellow associates.  All those that worked with him always appreciated his commitment to family as well as his positive attitude. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time. We are in close communications with them, trying to be as supportive as possible as they come to terms with their loss. We are assisting law enforcement to provide any information we may have to help identify the suspect and we are also providing support for our associates during this difficult time."

Walmart officials say the 24-hour store will have its hours of operation adjusted Saturday and Sunday. The store will be open until 11 p.m. Saturday. It will re-open at 6 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. Normal hours will resume on Monday.

The family has set up a memorial fund at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union.

You can donate to account #: 6000136395.

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