A man at Royal Palm Beach opened fire at an old grandmother and her one-year-old grandson inside a supermarket in Florida. The fatal shooting occurred on Thursday shortly after 11.30 am at a Publix near a strip mall that also houses a few small shops and eateries.
According to authorities, the suspect ended up taking his own life after firing at the two in the store. Police believe that the shooter and the victims may have known each other from before, reported the Palm Beach Post.
The young boy was two years old this month. Till now, the authorities have not released the names of the deceased in the Royal Palm Beach incident. At a news conference on Thursday, Teri Barbera, sheriff’s spokesperson confirmed detectives were conversing with witnesses and viewing camera footage.
In a statement addressed to the public, Barbera confirmed the Royal Palm Beach incident was not an “active shooter situation.” Several people were in the supermarket when chaos ensued, including Juan Guardia, who was reportedly in the supermarket’s deli area. “I heard, ‘They’re shooting!’ A woman Publix worker said, ‘Run! Shooting!’” stated Guardia.
Additionally, he added how he felt extremely scared because everything was happening very fast. People were running and many of the employees were crying, affirming Guardia. After the shooting, several patrol cars arrived at the scene, along with a sheriff’s office helicopter that lingered in midair above the store.
Although some of the Publix employees were allowed to leave the market, a vast majority of workers and customers were asked to stay put for interviews conducted by police officials. Many workers were later seen leaving the store at around 2.30 pm.
The aura had become tense and people were not being allowed to move their cars without the authorization of their license tags. People in the vicinity expressed profound shock at the Royal Palm Beach incident. Tracey Greene, a resident who often shops in the mall strip said “This is a friendly Publix. I can’t believe this crazy thing happened.”
According to Moody, a Royal Palm Beach resident who lives near the store expressed his sentiments about the incident being a “people problem.” Moody further added, “I was born and raised here, and I never would expect this to happen.”
Melissa McKinlay, the county commissioner of the Royal Palm Beach area issued a statement where she called the shooting “heartbreaking.” Her statement also included a request to not only pray for the victims and the people of Publix who witnessed the shooting but also “step up and engage in an honest conversation” about the reasons for this gun violence.