A naked man who was arrested at an Oroville Walmart after allegedly killing a woman and wounding four other people aboard a Greyhound bus Wednesday night was acting agitated and paranoid before opening fire, authorities said Thursday.
Charges are pending against 21-year-old Asaahdi Elijah Coleman, Butte County Dist. Atty. Michael Ramsey said, and prosecutors aim to gather enough information to file charges Friday afternoon.
A 43-year-old woman was fatally wounded in the shooting, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said, and the injured included an 11-year-old girl and a pregnant woman.
The girl was shot and taken to a hospital, where she was stable Thursday, the sheriff said. A pregnant 25-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man were hospitalized with gunshot wounds and listed in critical condition.
A 38-year-old man who suffered an unspecified minor injury was hospitalized but is expected to be released, Honea said.
The shooting occurred around 7:30 p.m. as the bus made a scheduled rest stop at a gas station and convenience store at Oroville Dam and Feather River boulevards, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.
Oroville police responded to 911 calls along with Butte County sheriff’s deputies, authorities said.
After authorities arrived at the scene, additional callers reported the suspect was at a nearby Walmart, Honea said. Deputies and a state fish and wildlife warden entered the store and found the suspect, later identified as Coleman, naked and acting erratically.
They arrested him “without incident,” the sheriff said.
Authorities shed more light on the shooting and events leading up to it during a press conference Thursday.
Coleman boarded the Los Angeles-bound bus in Redding, went to the back and sat down, Honea said.
The bus stopped in Chico, where Coleman either made or received a phone call “that seemed to agitate him,” the sheriff said.
At some point after stopping in Chico but before stopping in Oroville, he started talking to other passengers about Los Angeles and how dangerous the city was, Honea said. Coleman then showed some passengers a 9-millimeter handgun he had in a bag.
“He was exhibiting what I think could best could be described as paranoid behavior,” the sheriff said. “There was some indication that he thought one of the passengers was an undercover law enforcement officer.”
Coleman opened fire as passengers were beginning to exit in Oroville.
Authorities later recovered 12 bullet casings at the scene, Ramsey said.
After opening fire, Coleman ran south across Oroville Dam Boulevard, through a commercial area and onto a construction site where he dropped the gun, Honea said.
After dropping the gun, which deputies later recovered, Coleman continued south and ended up in the Walmart, where he walked up to cash registers and got in an argument with a woman and a physical fight with her boyfriend, the sheriff said.
Coleman then moved to the front of the store and started taking off his clothes, Honea said. Deputies arrived moments later.
Coleman had moved around California and “has had his brushes with the law,” Ramsey said.
The district attorney could not discuss the man’s juvenile record but said Coleman had a warrant for a probation violation in Alameda County.