An early morning shooting on July 30 at a Mississippi Walmart has left two people dead and a police officer wounded. The gunman was wounded during the attack. One of the deceased people has been named as Walmart employee Brandon Gales. The suspect in the attack has been named as 39-year-old Martez Abram.
The horror unfolded in Southaven, a city with a population of close to 50,000 located close to the Mississippi/Tennessee border, around is 13 miles south of Memphis.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that the Southaven Police Department were called to the scene at 6:32 a.m. after receiving a call regarding a shooting inside of the store. The Walmart store is located on the 6800 block of Southcrest Parkway and is open 24 hours a day. A police officer was wounded during the shooting, he is expected to survive.
This shooting comes two days after authorities say 19-year-old Santino William Legan shot-and-killed three people, a 6-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl and a 25-year-old man, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in northern California. Legan was shot dead by police officers who were working at the festival.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Suspect Is Reported to Have Been Suspended for Pulling a Knife on a Customer
Local Memphis reports that the suspect is being treated at Regional Medical Center. His condition is unknown at the time of writing. WREG reports that the suspect was shot twice by responding officers.
The station went on to report that the suspect had been suspended on July 29 for allegedly pulling a knife on a customer.
2. Employees of the Store Say the Suspect Is a ‘Disgruntled Employee’
WREG’s Jerrita Patterson reports that the deceased person is a manager of the store who was shot in the head. Patterson later reported that employees of the store told her that the suspect is a “disgruntled employee,” this has not been confirmed by authorities.
Local24’S Jalyn Souchek reports, citing an employee, said that the suspect had worked there for 25 years until he was fired recently. That employee said that two people had been killed, both Walmart employees. One witness, Phil Cox, told the Commercial Appeal that he thought the suspect “was going after employees.”
A female employee told WREG that she witnessed the gunman shoot her boss dead. That woman said the gunman then looked at her and told her she would be next. The woman said she was able to run and hide before police arrived on the scene.
3. The Wounded Police Officer Was Shot in His Bulletproof Vest
DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco told Fox Memphis that the suspected shooter was also wounded. The station also reports that a police officer was wounded during the shooting.
WREG’s Zaneta Lowe reports that the officer was hit in the bulletproof vest he was wearing. He was rushed to DeSoto Baptist Hospital where he is being treated. Officials have said that this was purely a precaution and that he is regarded as uninjured.
4. The Bomb Squad Is Involved in the Investigation
Officials have said that the bomb squad from Shelby County, Tennessee, were called to the scene in Southaven after a suspicious package was seen.
5. One Witness Counted at Least 15 Police Cars ‘Racing Into the Walmart Parking Lot’
One witness to the police response tweeted, “Something serious just happened at Southaven Wal-Mart. I’m at Chick Fil A, and I’ve counted at least 15 police cars racing into the WM parking lot. I saw at least one cop running in the store with a rifle.”
One employee, Carlos Odom, told CNN, “I heard a bunch of gunshots. Pop pop pop pop — more than a dozen shots. I just thought ‘Run!’ and ran to my car. This is crazy. The world is crazy nowadays.”