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Walmart theft suspect drops loaded gun, trips during handcuffed escape attempt

Rain Smith • Jan 19, 2018 at 12:08 PM

KINGSPORT — A shoplifting suspect allegedly brought attention to himself by dropping a loaded revolver inside Walmart on Thursday, then resisted police and tried to run away while handcuffed.

Aaron L. Morelock, 34, reportedly tripped and was taken into custody, while a cache of various drugs was found in his possession. According to records at the Kingsport Police Department, officers were called to the West Stone Drive store shortly before midnight.

A manager said Morelock was stuffing merchandise into his pockets and waistband, and an employee saw a gun drop from Morelock onto the floor. Officers located Morelock in the electronics section, but he denied having any weapons.

During a pat-down of the suspect, officers located not only a fully loaded .22-caliber revolver, according to police, but also metal knuckles and a pocket knife. When questioned, Morelock admitted to not having a gun carry permit.

Officers also allegedly found a variety of drugs including buprenophrine and clonazepam in Morelock’s possession, along with a metal spoon, four syringes and marijuana. Stolen merchandise, the amount of which was not specified in a report, was also recovered.

While police were talking with the store manager, Morelock reportedly “began to run away with handcuffs on.” He fell during the escape attempt and was again taken into custody, according to records, but later threw himself to the floor and refused to walk out of the store. While being transported to jail in a cruiser, police said, he continuously tried to slip his cuffed hands from behind his back.

Morelock, of 414 Grassy Creek Road, Rogersville, faces several drug charges, along with shoplifting, unlawful carrying of a weapon, possession of prohibited weapons, resisting arrest and escape.

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