At the table in The Duncan Banner conference room, Kristen Lyles slumped onto the surface, her teen daughter and young son sitting nearby.
“I just needed paper plates and baggies,” she said.
Lyles said she was there to grab those items while her children were at home.
“I was right out the door of the Home and Pharmacy side — I was the third car and they were on the grocery side, it happened on the grocery side,” she said. “I was going shopping. I just got there and I was in my car for about five minutes, on the phone with my mom. I thought I heard a bird pecking on the top of my car — I heard the ‘tink, tink, tink’ and I said ‘there’s a bird on my car.’”
"I hung up to go in and there was a gentleman on the other side of the aisle putting a TV in (his vehicle) then an older lady pulled in beside him. I was going to see if he needed help. And then I heard a lady on the other side (of the parking lot) screaming ‘He’s got a gun, he’s got a gun get down!’ and the gentleman said ‘get in a car, get in a car ‘ so I jumped in that lady’s car and then the cops got there.”
Lyles looked over to her kids and sighed.
“They were at home — Thank God,” she said. “I’ve been crying and shaking and my chest feels very heavy because I always park on the grocery side and it was busy this morning and and he (her son) was at home with her (daughter). So I was just like ‘I’ll run across to the store real quick and grab what I need.’”
While she didn’t see anything, Lyles was glad to have been solo Monday morning.
“I heard the shots but you don’t think that’s what it is you know? I will never forget that lady’s face saying ‘He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!’ You don’t think that’s going to happen in Duncan,” she said. “I have been crying since this all happened. I’ve just trying to breathe. You never think you are going to walk into that situation. I’m scared to go anywhere. I’m scared to even go to Walmart any more. You shouldn’t feel that way. I just want to go home.”
Lyles said law enforcement temporarily had people wait and once they were sorted to where they where, she was allowed to leave.
Area congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the shooting occurred:
“I am deeply grieved by the tragedy that took place this morning in Duncan. Worlds were indeed shaken and changed forever by this devastating incident, and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, many loved ones and the entire Duncan community,” he said. “As we await answers on what led to the incident, I remain confident in members of our law enforcement to investigate and keep us all appropriately informed.”
Rep. Marcus McEntire, district 51, said this impacted more than just Duncan.
"I am heartbroken to hear of this unspeakable tragedy,” he said. “The violent event occurring this morning in the parking lot outside of Walmart has impacted the people who live in Duncan and our surrounding communities. All affected by this event need our prayers and support.”
McEntire sung the praises of the first responders.
“We are deeply grateful to our fire and police departments, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations for their quick response and professionalism,” he said. “We are also thankful to Walmart for offering their assistance during this difficult time."
Sen. Paul Scott posted on his official Facebook page his statements.
“Today, our hearts are breaking,” he wrote. “This tragedy has rocked our small community and we ask for your prayers for the family and friends of the victims; for the staff and customers of our local Walmart; and for our community.”
For Lyles it will be a day she never forgets.
“It’s just surreal,” she whispered with her head in her hands.