Prescott police: Ebonice Johnson tried to kill Walmart coworkers after dispute

Posted at 4:32 PM, Dec 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-05 18:20:37-05

Authorities say a woman has been arrested after trying to kill her coworkers and commit suicide by law enforcement.

A release from the Prescott Police Department says officers responded to the Walmart on Highway 69 just before 6:30 a.m. after the store manager called to report a woman in the parking lot with a rifle.

Investigators say 24-year-old Ebonice Johnson, of Prescott, is an employee at the store and was involved in an argument with several coworkers during her shift which ended earlier in the day. Johnson addressed the issue with a manager but became angry and broke a cash register before leaving the store.

Police say Johnson went home, retrieved a .22-caliber rifle, ammunition and knife and a torch. She wrote a note on her computer indicating she intended to kill her coworkers and force responding officers to kill her, according to a news release from the police department. 

Johnson returned to the store parking lot, parking directly in front of the doors on the east side of the building. A customer saw Johnson with the rifle and alerted the manager, who called law enforcement.

Johnson was unable to load the rifle and walked around to the east side of the building to continue attempting to load the rifle, police said. Johnson discarded the rifle and switched to the knife, but investigators said she lost it in the dark and decided to try and use the torch to set the building on fire.

Police arrived and took Johnson into custody without incident. She has been booked into the Yavapai County Jail on four counts of attempted homicide, arson of an occupied structure and weapons misconduct, all felonies.

Investigators said Johnson was motivated by her dissatisfaction at work and have not found any other cause for her behavior.