Police identify man who allegedly shot innocent woman inside Walmart near Metrocenter

Police arrested 18-year-old Diontay Evans shortly after the shooting near Interstate 17 and Dunlap Avenue.
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 9:32 AM MST|Updated: Jun. 8, 2022 at 10:19 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A man who shot an innocent bystander during a fight in a Walmart inside Phoenix’s old Metrocenter mall Tuesday has been identified, police said. Officers arrested 18-year-old Diontay Evans shortly after the shooting near Interstate 17 and Dunlap Avenue.

Police say Evans was arguing with two men he knew inside the store around 3:30 p.m. According to court documents, one of the men was an ex-boyfriend of Evans’ sister, and there had been previous fights between the group. Investigators say Evans was in the check cashing line at the store when one of the men walked near him, and the three began arguing. Evans then got out of line and walked out of the store. Police say he then turned back around, went inside the store, and started shooting at the two men. They weren’t hit, but a woman who was grabbing a shopping cart was. Evans then ran out and started shooting again from the parking lot, hitting a car.

The 45-year-old woman, who wasn’t involved in the fight, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. No one else was hurt. Shortly after the shooting, an off-duty Phoenix police officer heard the shots go off inside the store and detained Evans in the parking lot.

During an interview with police, Evans admitted to shooting at the two men and said it was self-defense. According to court documents, Evans heard the men talking about an “item” and assumed it was about a weapon. He then pulled out his gun and started shooting, despite not seeing the two men have any weapons. Investigators say Evans tried to claim he did not know the two men but eventually told police he knew them.

The other man he was shooting at was also detained, but police have not released his name. Evans was booked on six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of discharging a firearm and one count of aggravated assault with serious injury.