Shoplifting Suspect Shot by Tri-Cities Walmart Security Guard in Crowded Parking Lot


A man was shot multiple times by a security officer on Black Friday outside the Kennewick Walmart.

Alexander Yell, 31, was suspected of taking merchandise from the 2720 S. Quillan St. store at about 12:45 p.m. without paying for it.

The security officer followed Yell into the south portion of the store's crowded parking lot, at which point the suspected shoplifter pulled out a gun, according to Kennewick police reports.

The guard, who had a concealed carry permit, told police he then pulled out his own gun and shot Yell two to three times at close range, according to initial dispatch broadcasts.

Yell ran to his car and left but was later arrested after a short standoff about 1:30 p.m. at an apartment on the 1700 block of West 5th Avenue in Kennewick.

He was taken by ambulance to a Tri-Cities hospital for treatment. His condition was not available Friday.

Once booked into the Benton County jail, Yell will have an investigative hold for second-degree assault and first-degree robbery, both felonies, police said. Additional charges are possible.

Yell also had nine outstanding warrants for his arrest, according to Kennewick police.

Police are not releasing the name of the Walmart security guard.

A woman called 911 about 30 minutes after the shooting to say her fiancé had shown up at her apartment with gunshot wounds and was bleeding from his arm and leg.

Two children were with her in the apartment, and the fiancé was upset that the woman called 911, she told the dispatcher.

Officers negotiated with Yell for a few minutes before he came out of the apartment, police said.

Police had been searching for the suspect who was described as being in his 30s, dressed in all black with a black mask.

Shoppers and employees ran from the store when the shots rang out, with some shoppers calling police to say there was an active shooter at Walmart.

When police arrived they determined there was no gunman in the inside, but a team of officers moved through the store evacuating everyone to make sure there were no victims or other suspects inside.

The store remained closed until about 2:30 p.m.

The Washington State Patrol and deputies from the Benton County Sheriff's Office also responded to the shooting.

Anyone who saw the incident is asked to call 509-628-0333 or go to to send an email.

This story was originally published  November 26, 2021 2:30 PM.