On Tuesday morning, two people were left fatally wounded after a shooting took place outside a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi.
After police arrived at the scene within minutes after the incident started, the situation quickly escalated to a firefight which ended after the police shot the shooter twice to stop him. An officer was also shot at but was saved by his bulletproof vest but a second officer was able to bring down the shooter. Both the assailant and responding officer are currently undergoing recovery in local hospitals.
“It wasn’t an accident,” said colleague Travis Jones, who was working at the place when he heard shots. “He knew what he was doing when he came in there.”
According to another witness, Customer Phil Cox, 70, who was just leaving the store, heard gunshots coming from the parking lot. After turned to see what was going on, he saw a man rushing into the store. That man was later identified as the gunman, according to the witness.
The two victims who were killed were identified as Anthony Brown, 40, of Olive Branch; and Brandon Gales, 38, of Hernando. Both were Walmart employees and were identified as good co-workers and people. One was found dead in the store while another was found dead in the parking lot.
It is being reported that the shooter, Martez Tarrell Abram, 39, is an ex-employee of the Walmart store where the incident took place. He was suspended after he showed a knife to his co-worker. But didn’t threaten anyone, according to officials.
Southaven Chief of Police, Macon Moore described the act as an act of senseless violence.
The assailant is charged with two counts of murder, but that may change, and he may be hit with more charges added DA John Champion of Desoto County District.
Southaven Mayor, Darren Musselwhite described the assailant as a “disgruntled worker” with a grievance against his former employer.
“We’re deeply saddened by the reports from our store in Southaven, Mississippi. We are working with local law enforcement and will continue to update as we learn more. Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the entire Southaven community.” Walmart said in a statement.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation will examine the officer-involved shooting while the Southaven Police Department is handling the criminal investigation of the assault launched on the Walmart employees, Moore said.
The victims were “senselessly murdered,” said Southaven Chief of Police, Macon Moore. “These people were doing the same thing that you and I do every day, showing up for work in an attempt to provide for their families,” he added.
The shooting also brings in focus the problem that the US is facing in terms of gunfire violence.