Once concerned family members learned their loved ones inside Burlington Coat Factory were safe, some were frustrated to learn the shooter escaped alive too.
"You've got someone in here, disturbing the community and nothing happens. He was tackled and went to jail,” a family member of an employee said.
The Wichita Police Department tells Eyewitness News, when the five officers walked into the store, they did not see a weapon on the alleged shooter. When he did not respond to their commands, the officers tazed the suspect. The department says the officers did not use deadly force because the man did not appear to be a big enough threat. Officers say they did find a small caliber revolver on the suspect after he was taken down.
Some of our viewers also questioned the officers' reaction online. Aaron Williams writes on Facebook "we can tase a man armed with a gun, but a… woman with a knife and a purse we shoot and kill. Go figure."
Aaron is referring to one of the eight officer involved shootings in the last 10 months. Five people have been killed. Police Chief Norman Williams talked to FactFinder12 two weeks ago about the number of police shootings and the impact the public's reaction might have on an officer in the middle of a scary situation.
“That is a significant concern I have… that… because of the perceptions of social media making comments… that the officer may wait the additional second that will cost them their life,” Williams said two weeks ago.
But again, in this case officers decided the suspect wasn't a big enough threat at that moment to warrant deadly force.
Some of our viewers say the officers did their job. Pearl Palmer writes on Facebook "thank God no one was hurt and our WPD (officers) were able to end this without incident."
The department says the officers at Burlington Coat Factory walked into an "active shooter situation” today. That means they keep two things in mind: immobilize the shooter and protect people.