11:16 AM EDT, July 1, 2013
A mother was shopping with her two children at Walmart. They had no idea terror was seconds away.
Surveillance video captured it all. A man passed them twice. He turned his empty cart around and was heading back their way as Alicia Keating was looking in the meat section. Her daughters were next to her.
Then, it happened. Thirty-seven-year-old Sammie Wallace grabbed the two-year-old from the shopping cart. Then, he handed mom his cell phone and told her to call the cops. Keating pleaded for her daughter as Wallace was holding a knife to the toddler's throat.
Other shoppers called 911:
Caller #1: "We need a police here immediately, immediately!"
Caller #2: "We have a child abduction going on in the store."
Caller #3: "There's someone with a knife holding a little girl hostage."
One brave shopper, Terry Parker, a pastor positioned his shopping cart to block Wallace from going any further with the child. Then, he just stood his ground and doesn't move.
Parker told INSIDE EDITION, "I saw the gentleman holding that child in his arms with that knife to its abdomen area and something just lead me to block his path."
When police arrived they found Wallace in a delusional state. When he was asked his name he threw his wallet to the floor.
Understandably, Keating was beside herself. Police took her away as tense negotiations began.
INSIDE EDITION asked Wally Zines to analyze the surveillance tape. Zines said, "A hostage situation is like walking into the middle of a movie where you don't know the beginning or the end. You've walked into the middle of something."
Wallace was even offered a chair. He alternated between holding the knife to the child's stomach and her throat.
Thirty minutes into the drama, Wallace informed police they have exactly 60 seconds before he kills the child. He started counting down in tens. That's when Capt. David Huff decided he had no other choice. He took a single shot at point blank range. The two-year-old was not injured.
"When you're given a deadline, you have to make some decisions. He's very lucky that the child didn't move into a position that would go into the line of fire," said Zines.
Wallace's family said he suffered from schizophrenia and was recently released from prison.