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Suspect's Neighbors React To Thornton Walmart Shooting

By Rick Sallinger

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) - SWAT team members were preparing to enter the apartment where Scott Ostrem lives when suddenly a car matching the description of the wanted vehicle passed by.

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(credit: CBS)

There, stuck in traffic at a red light, they found Ostrem. He was taken into custody without incident not far from his home at 71st Place and Samuel Drive.

Scott Ostrem
Scott Ostrem (credit: CBS)

Several neighbors remarked that he often expressed dislike for Hispanics to their faces.

One man, Gerald Burnett, told CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger that Ostrem would say "'This is America. You shouldn't be here." Burnett added, "That's no way to treat people."

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With tears in her eyes, another neighbor, Teresa Muniz, agreed about Ostrem's treatment of Hispanics. "It hurts me. It does. It's been bothering me," she said.

Crime scene investigators searched Ostrem's third floor apartment. From a doorway, CBS4 could see a sweatshirt from the roofing company where Ostrem quit on Wednesday. There was also a bible.

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(credit: CBS)

A Hispanic employee of the apartment building, who did not want to be identified, said Ostrem was very rude. "If he saw a Hispanic person, he would tell them to get out of his way," he said.

All three who died at the Walmart had Hispanic names.

As for now while Ostrem is accused of the murders, no motive has been revealed.

Scott Ostrem (2)
Scott Ostrem (credit: Thornton Police)

Ostrem would frequently have coffee at Goody's Eatery where the staff called him quiet.

Linda Nelson, a waitress there, said "You kind of wonder what kind of pain someone is in if they inflict that kind of pain on somebody else."

CBS4 examined court records that showed Ostrem had a minor criminal record including an arrest for resisting an officer. He had a bankruptcy in his past, as well.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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