Woman who died in Tennessee Kroger shooting identified; gunman was third-party vendor, police say

Written by on September 24, 2021

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — Police on Friday mentioned the gunman in a capturing at a Kroger grocery retailer that killed one and injured 14 others was a third-party vendor for Kroger who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Additionally they recognized the girl who died within the capturing as Olivia King. 

Associates instructed the Memphis Business Attraction, a part of the USA TODAY Community, that King was a longtime resident of the world. 

“She was simply candy,” King’s longtime buddy David Fraser mentioned. 

“Variety, well mannered, considerate,” added buddy Maureen Fraser, standing beside him Thursday on the sidewalk close to the blocked-off Kroger grocery retailer.

The Frasers mentioned they’d recognized King for years. She was from San Antonio and was widowed with three sons: one within the Navy, one within the Air Power and one who had simply earned a doctorate, they mentioned. 

They mentioned she attended Catholic Mass practically on daily basis and had beforehand labored as a monetary secretary at a neighborhood college.

Police Chief Dale Lane mentioned Friday that officers are “getting a clearer image of what occurred” however didn’t verify the shooter’s motive. The suspect, who was discovered lifeless in the back of the shop, was recognized as Uk Thang, 29.

Of the 15 individuals who had been shot, 10 had been Kroger workers and 5 had been prospects, Lane mentioned. 

“Fortunately, our prayers had been answered: We did not lose anyone in a single day,” Lane mentioned. “There’s nonetheless some individuals battling, so proceed to hope for them, as effectively.” 

The gunman acted alone and labored as a third-party vendor for Kroger, Lane mentioned. Lane declined to call the gunman throughout a media briefing, saying he did not “need to give him notoriety.” However police later confirmed the shooter’s identification. Kroger additionally confirmed the shooter was a third-party vendor. 

“Within the hours for the reason that capturing, we’re studying of actually heroic acts that included associates, prospects and first responders selflessly serving to to guard and save others,” Kroger mentioned in a Friday assertion. “We are going to stay eternally grateful to the primary responders who so bravely responded to guard our associates and prospects.”

The shop will stay closed in the course of the police investigation, although staff are nonetheless being paid, Kroger mentioned. 

Lane mentioned the gunman had earlier “minor costs,” Lane mentioned, however didn’t specify. 

The capturing began at about 1:30 p.m. CDT Thursday on the Kroger in Collierville, about 30 miles east of Memphis. Police mentioned they had been instantly on scene and officers started making their approach into the shop to answer what Lane referred to as “essentially the most horrific occasion that’s occurred in Collierville historical past.”

Beforehand: 2 lifeless, at the least a dozen injured in capturing at Kroger grocery retailer in Tennessee

Native and federal regulation enforcement companies responded; dozens of patrol vehicles, two tactical unit autos, and ambulances neighboring counties had been on scene by 2 p.m. 

“Our guys didn’t hesitate one minute,” Collierville Hearth Division Chief Buddy Billings mentioned. 

He added: “I have been in hearth service for 44 years … I’ve by no means been so pleased with a gaggle of individuals in my life, in my complete profession.”

Staff hid in freezers and hunkered down in locked workplaces. One retailer worker was rescued from the roof, Lane mentioned.

Witnesses, each buyers and workers, who trickled out of the Kroger on Thursday described listening to what they thought had been balloons popping earlier than the fact of the state of affairs turned clear. Police escorted a crowd of roughly 40 to the middle of the parking zone to take statements. Exterior of the crime scene tape, members of the family of buyers and staff waited to search out their family members. 

Brignetta Dickerson, an worker of greater than three years, led a gaggle of workers and prospects towards security by weaving by way of the shop, with the shooter not far behind her group. 

“I have been by way of the whole lot,” she mentioned Thursday afternoon. “This proper right here took the cake.” 

In their very own phrases: Victims describe confusion, then a determined scramble to flee the shop

Kroger issued a press release Thursday expressing sorrow for the workers and prospects affected, in addition to gratitude for the primary responders.

Kroger, which has practically 2,800 shops nationwide, has tried in recent times to attenuate potential gun violence in its shops. In 2019, the chain introduced it might prohibit the open carry of firearms in its shops. It is the nation’s largest grocery store chain by way of income.

This occasion marks the second mass capturing in a yr at one of many firm’s shops. In late March, a gunman opened hearth at King Sooper’s retailer in Boulder, Colorado, killing 10 individuals. King Sooper’s is a part of the Kroger firm.

Contributing: Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY.

Micaela Watts is a reporter for The Business Attraction, she could be reached at micaela.watts@commercialappeal.com.

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