EUFAULA, AL (WTVM) - Stephen Becker, 32, of Suwanee, GA has been detained and a store has been reopened after a suspicious incident involving a convicted felon at the Eufaula Walmart Tuesday morning.
The incident occurred at the Walmart, located at 3176 S. Eufaula Ave., in Eufaula.
In an interview with News Leader 9's Tesia Reed, Eufaula Police Chief Ralph Conner said Becker is in police custody at this time. It is still unclear what the motive is, but there were no injuries during the incident. The store reopened at 12:10 p.m. CT, after being closed for nearly four hours.
Despite previous reports, no shots were fired or exchanged during this incident, according to police.
Conner said that Eufaula Police got a call from Georgia law enforcement authorities at 9:15 a.m. about a stolen Ford Explorer located at the Walmart. When units responded to the scene and found the SUV, they also found the suspect with it.
Once Becker was detained, he told police that he was not acting alone. Becker, according to Conner, gave the name and information of a person who is in Conyers, GA at the time of his detainment. Becker also stated the person was violent and had bragged about a recent killing.
"My understanding is that the man was coming out of the car, the person was detained and identified I don't have his info right now, there were firearms in the car," Conner said. "That person provided details that he was riding with another person and he gave us a name, a specific name and said that person was inside Walmart hiding from us with a handgun for fear of being apprehended."
Becker was confirmed as a felon in possession of a handgun. Police then took emergency security measures by locking down the Walmart, and clearing the premises twice with SWAT team and K9 units before discovering the suspect was not in the store.
He is now being charged with first-degree receiving stolen property. Charges related to possession of the firearm by a felon may be forthcoming, but it will be coordinated with his parole authorities.
"We think, at this time, the description is going to be fictitious and the person caught with the vehicle was actually acting alone, but he is a convicted felon, he says he's on parole, and he was in control of a handgun," Conner said. "The person that was identified as being in Walmart was actually determined to be in another part of Georgia during this time, not even here. We don't know if there was a second person in Walmart so we did a tactical operation to clear for public safety."