EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The mother of a Walmart employee who was shot and wounded by a former co-worker inside a Walmart store in Indiana says the gunman had repeatedly threatened to kill her daughter.
Jenny Couch told WFIE-TV that her daughter, 28-year-old Amber Cook, was targeted by Ronald Ray Mosley II because he was in love with her boyfriend. When the boyfriend told Mosley that he wasn't interested in him romantically, Mosley became angry with Cook and threatened to kill her, she said.
"He kept sending my daughter messages, anonymous, everything. He kept calling her, telling her that he was going to kill her, that he watched her walk her dog," Couch told the Evansville station Friday.
According to the Evansville Police Department, 25-year-old Mosley walked into a store break room where employees were meeting Thursday night and shot Cook in the face with a 9mm handgun. Another employee escaped the room and called 911. Law enforcement officers responded within minutes and fatally shot Mosley. There were about 40 employees and 40 shoppers in the store at the time, but no one else was injured.
On Friday, Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin praised as a hero a female employee who came to the victim's aid after Mosley left the break room in pursuit of a male employee who had fled. Bolin said she called 911, moved the victim to another room, locked the door and turned out the lights before Mosley returned looking for the wounded woman.
Mosley had worked at the southwestern Indiana store until he was fired last year after being charged with four misdemeanor counts of battery in May 2022 for attacking four co-workers, Evansville police said Friday.
A probable cause affidavit in that case states Mosley told police he had issues with people at work and "lost control." A man who was one of those victims told police that before the attack Mosley was "mad at him" because he told Mosley he had no romantic interest in him, according to the affidavit.
After the 2022 attack at the store, Mosley pleaded guilty to the battery charges, and the case was referred to Vanderburgh County's mental health court, the county's prosecutor, Diana Moers, said Friday. Moers said Mosley had been complying with court-ordered mental health treatment.
Couch said her daughter has life-threatening injuries after being shot in the head but described her daughter as "very strong. Strong-willed, strong-headed." She said Cook is surrounded by loved ones at an Indianapolis hospital but is frightened.
"My little girl, laying up here, wondering if she's even going to wake up. She's scared to go to sleep because she's scared that she's not going to wake up," Couch said.
Sgt. Anna Gray with Evansville police said Friday that the woman was in stable condition after being taken by helicopter to the hospital in Indianapolis. She said Saturday that police did not have an update on her condition.
Walmart said in a statement on Saturday that the store has not reopened.
"The store remains closed while we provide support to our associates and determine next steps. An appropriate reopening date has yet to be finalized," the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant said.
Evansville is a city of about 116,000 residents along the Ohio River, some 170 miles (275 kilometers) southwest of Indianapolis.