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Augusta man charged after gun goes off in Walmart, witnesses describe chaos

Robert Potter (Augusta Police Department)

AUGUSTA (WGME) -- Police arrested a man after a shot was fired inside the Augusta Walmart on Monday.

"It was chaos, it was complete chaos," said Brittany Gould, who was in the produce section.

Gould said she was heading for the check out register when she heard yelling in the Dunkin Donuts, followed by a loud pop.

As the suspect was tackled, Gould said she and other customers ran for the far end of the store.

"What if my kids were here with me?" she said. "I can't even imagine. It's only 8 o' clock at night. Typically my kids would've been with me."

Robert Potter, 31, is charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, a felony.

"Mr. Potter was already there doing business, if you will, and he had an altercation with another customer and he brandished a weapon at that point," said Deputy Chief, Jared Mills.

Mills said when the other customer tried to disarm Potter, the gun went off.

"I'm confident this is an isolated incident," said Mills. "One person against another."

No one was injured inside the store, but Mills said police are still investigating whether the incident contributed to the death of a woman who witnessed it. She suffered a medical event in her car and couldn't be resuscitated. Now they're working with the Medical Examiner's Office to determine exactly how she died.

"I know my heart, myself, was pounding out of my chest," said Gould. "I can't imagine an older, elderly woman."

Gould is still shaken, but also grateful she got to go home to her kids.

"I immediately ran to their bedrooms and gave them a kiss," she said. " They were both sound asleep in bed."

Police said Potter is being held at an undisclosed location for medical treatment. He could face more charges.

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