The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office told Local 10 News the child, a boy, would have turned 2 later this month. The woman and child were grandmother and grandson, PBSO said in a statement. The father of the boy was called to identify his son, Local 10 News reported. Law enforcement said they are investigating whether there was any relationship between Wall, the grandmother and the baby, and searching for a motive in the shooting.
Officials released a timeline in the murders during a press conference Friday afternoon, June 11, 2021, and said the grandmother, a 69-year-old woman, fought to save her grandson before she was killed. Wall’s full name is Timothy Jameison Wall, officials said.
Wall was a 55-year-old Royal Palm Beach man, according to The Palm Beach Post. Officials told the newspaper Wall was found with a handgun near his body, and officials believe his fatal wound was self-inflicted. Court records indicate his ex-wife filed for divorce in 2017 and that he was granted a bankruptcy discharge in April 2021. Court records also indicate he had a 14-year-old daughter. A letter Wall wrote to the court in 2019 paints a picture of his final years, which said he was indigent, out of work and in poor health.
The Sun-Sentinel reported the shooting occurred at 1180 Royal Palm Beach Boulevard in The Crossroads at Royal Palm Beach plaza at about 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. The entire plaza was blocked by police for hours after the shooting, the outlet said.
Royal Palm Beach is a village about 15 miles west of West Palm Beach and just north of Wellington. This post will be updated as new information becomes available and as additional details are confirmed.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wall’s Wife Filed for Divorce in 2017 but He Continued Living With His Ex-Wife & Daughter; She Filed to Evict Him in 2019
Wall’s wife filed for divorce in July 2017, court records indicate. However, he continued living with his wife for at least two years before she filed to evict him from the home in 2019. He also had a daughter living in the Royal Palm Beach home, who is now 14, court records indicate.
A judge ordered on June 27, 2019, that Wall had 30 days to leave the marital home. A judge had previously ordered that Wall pay $500 toward mortgage each month until he moved out of the home.
Wall wrote a letter to the court pleading his case after his ex-wife filed for eviction, saying he should be allowed to stay in the home. He said that he helped out around the house, mowing the lawn, painting, repairing the porch, taking out the garbage, bathing the dog, cleaning and helping their daughter with homework, along with other tasks. He claimed he intended to leave, and would do so as soon as he was able.
Here is the letter:
Wall wrote that he had been out of work and was indigent.
“I need money to survive and pay my way,” Wall wrote in the letter.
He wrote that he uses public transportation, which he described as “slow” and “exhausting.” He also wrote that he was having health problems.
“The last year my health is not great, racing heart, irregular heartbeat, skipping,” he wrote.
Maia Knight, the sister of Wall’s ex-wife, said she tried to encourage Wall to take care of himself and his mental health issues, but said that she could not force him to do it, according to The Palm Beach Post.
“He wasn’t really taking the medicine, and he had alcohol problems at one point,” she said. “He didn’t even want to help himself. My sister would say, ‘I can’t tell a grown man what to do do if he doesn’t want to do it himself.'”
Knight said the couple’s daughter was “going through a tough time” watching her dad struggle with mental health issues.
Wall’s family issued a statement to the Associated Press, and an attorney for the family asked that the public respect the privacy of Wall’s family and said that he has an elderly mother.
The statement said:
We are heartbroken at the loss of a child, and a grandmother, and of Timothy’s death. We want to express our deepest condolences to the family of the young victim and his grandmother. During this difficult time, we ask that our family be given the time and respect to grieve and process this horrible tragedy. We hope that the same respect will be given to the victims and their family members.
2. Police Say They Are Investigating the Relationship Between Wall, the Grandmother & the Baby Boy But Said So Far There Is ‘No Known Relationship’
The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office released the timeline of the events leading up to the murder during a press conference June 11, 2021. Officials said Wall was at Walgreens at about 8 a.m. that morning and at the same Publix about an hour later. He returned to Publix at about 11:30 a.m. on a red scooter. About 20 minutes earlier, the grandmother and grandson entered the store and started shopping. Wall entered the grocery store about five minutes before the shooting, using a golf putter as a walking stick, officials said.
Surveillance footage showed Wall walking behind the victims, PBSO said during the press conference. They said Wall shot the child first, who was in the shopping cart. The grandma tried to stop Wall, officials said, and fought with him over the gun. They said his gun jammed and she fell to the ground, where they said Wall shot her dead before turning the gun on himself.
Officials are continuing to investigate whether Wall and the victims had ever interacted before he gunned them down in the store, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw.
“But we’ve got a lot more talking to do. This is a very fluid investigation,” he said.
The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office said in a statement June 10, 2021, there was “no known motive or relationship between the gunman and the victims.” PBSO is continuing its investigation and working to identify what led to the shooting, officials said.
“We’re trying to determine what led up to the shooting,” said Teri Barbera, spokesperson for PBSO, in a statement to WPBF.
The toddler was the son of a civilian employee with the Sunny Isles police department, according to Local 10 News.
Witnesses told the Sun-Sentinel about the tragedy, saying they were running errands when their shopping trip turned deadly for the little boy and his grandma. Lynn Waterman told newspaper reporters she was checking out at the cash register when she heard the gunfire. She thought it was balloons popping, she told the newspaper. The cashier said there was a shooter, and she started running, she said, according to the article.
“Everybody ran out the store and I stood in the parking lot a while and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why am I standing out here? He could come out and shoot us’,” Waterman, 61, told the newspaper.
She told the newspaper the store was not busy at the time of the shooting. She realized later she had left $10 on the counter, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
“I’m glad I’m alive, that’s all,” she told the newspaper.
Another witness, Dr. Ron Glassman, told Local 10 News he was close when the shots broke out.
“I was about 100 feet away when I saw everyone running out of the store and yelling, ‘Get back … shots fired,’” Glassman told the news outlet.
Another witness, Juan Guardia, told the news station that a Publix employee shouted there was a shooting and told people to run.
“She said, ‘Run, run. It’s a shooting, shooting run!’” Guardia told the news station, and said he was at the deli area when he heard a gunshot from the produce department. “After that, I got out from the back side, the back gate.”
Elvis Way, who has been a grocery bagger for 13 years, told The Sun-Sentinel he was outside of the grocery store to collect shopping carts when shoppers and other workers began fleeing the store and screaming “Run!” He told the newspaper he hid at a nearby Dollar Tree store, and warned shoppers there of the shooting while crouching on the floor. He later ran outside and hid near law enforcement, he told the newspaper.
Officials described the shooting as a murder-suicide, writing in an early statement that it was “not an active shooter situation.” Police told Local 10 News the shooting occurred near the produce section of the grocery store.
“The family has invoked Marsy’s Law, therefore, the names of the victims: 1 yr/old boy & his grandmother will not be released. The gunman’s name will be released after his next of kin has been notified. There is NO known motive or relationship between the gunman and the victims,” said a statement from PBSO the evening of June 10.
CBS12 News reported in the hours after the shooting that the Publix parking lot was blocked off with crime scene tape and that multiple patrol cars from the sheriff’s office were on the scene.
“We’re trying to determine what led up to the shooting,” Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Teri Barbera told The Sun-Sentinel. “We responded to a shooting, we found three deceased — male, female, child. We believe that it’s possible they know each other. The gunman is deceased. What led up to this, again, to be determined by our detectives that are here on scene.”
Officials later said there was no known relationship between the gunman and the victims.
“I know people are tired of asking for prayers, but Im asking anyway,” wrote Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay on Twitter. “So I ask for your prayers right now for the families impacted by today’s shooting in my district. No politics today. Just prayers.”
3. Wall Filed for Bankruptcy & He Was Granted Discharge on April 28, 2021
Bankruptcy filings for Wall indicate he had $215,000 in debts and only $6,000 in assets. Most of his debts were owed to his ex-wife. Their divorce was finalized in 2018, court records show.
In December 2020, the Bank of America filed a claim against Wall in small claims court for $4,092.25, and filed paperwork indicating he failed to make minimum payments.
On January 18, 2021, the small claims court case was dismissed pursuant to a settlement after a hearing, according to a court filing.
On April 16, 2021, the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Florida granted Wall bankruptcy discharge under chapter 7, according to a court order.
Here is the order:
A Facebook page for Wall includes no public information aside from a profile photo published May 10, 2020.
4. Wall Threatened to Kill Children on His Facebook Page & His Ex-Wife Said He Had Been Acting Strangely, the Sheriff Said
“There was a chance this could be stopped. Do you know why? The reason is, he’s on Facebook. He has said ‘I want to kill people and children,’ Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw added that Wall’s ex-wife said he was acting paranoid and thought he was being followed.
“You think a damn soul told us about it? No,” Bradshaw said. “If it sounds like I’m angry, I am.”
A sheriff’s deputy with the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office happened to be in the area of Publix when the shooting occurred, Local 10 News reported. The deputy rushed inside, but all three people were already deceased, the news station reported.
Barbera told The Sun-Sentinel the deputy had been at a nearby business.
“We actually had a deputy that was at the dry cleaners down the way,” Barbera told the newspaper. “As soon as he heard the call go out, he immediately entered Publix.”
Tragically, the victims were already dead, she said, according to the newspaper.
Witness Joey Mendoza, 62, of Royal Palm Beach, told the Sun-Sentinel he missed the shooting by minutes. His plans were to buy some sandwiches from the Publix deli, he told the newspaper. As he was pulling into the parking lot, he saw police officers sprinting with their guns drawn, he told reporters.
“A couple of minutes later, I would’ve been in there,” he told the newspaper. “That’s what I’m thinking. Two, three minutes later, usually, because I parked right in the front. At that point, I didn’t bother getting out. I saw them running in, I didn’t get out of the vehicle. … They just kept coming. Cruiser after cruiser, ambulance after ambulance, fire truck after fire truck.”
Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay told WPTV she was saddened by the news.
“This one is hard. You don’t like to hear about these things in your district. You don’t like to hear about them anywhere in the country,” McKinlay said.
She later added in a statement to The Palm Beach Post that today is a day of mourning and tomorrow is a day of action.
“Tomorrow we must step up and engage in a very honest conversation about why this happened and what we can do specifically to prevent this violence,” McKinlay said June 10. “Inaction is not an option.”
A witness wrote on Twitter that he was going to Publix to buy water when the gunman, later identified by authorities as Wall, walked into the store and opened fire.
“Hope eveyrone is alive. Glad I don’t live on Loxahatchee, Fl,” the post said in part.
The Twitter user later corrected the original post to say the gun the person had was not a shotgun. He wrote the gunman walked in wearing a trench coat.
“Update: Nit a shotgun, this seems to have been a mass shoting. Mtiple people are assumed dead including to gunman who was said to had walked in with a dark trench coat on,” the person wrote on Twitter.
The Sun-Sentinel reported the gun was a handgun.
Shoppers who witnessed the shooting expressed their shock to The Palm Beach Post.
“This is a friendly Publix. I can’t believe this crazy thing happened,” Tracy Greene told the newspaper, and said she shops in the plaza regularly.
Tracey Cohron, a Royal Palm Beach resident who also frequents the Publix where the shooting occurred, told the newspaper she thought nothing like that would ever happen there. She said she knows many employees and was terrified to learn who died.
“I’ve been here for 20 years, and I can’t believe this is happening,” Cohron told the newspaper. “I know so many people who work there. I’m scared to death to find out who even got shot.”
She added in her interview with reporters that she only missed the shooting by about six minutes.
“This is insane,” she told the Post. “I can’t believe this is really happening in my neighborhood.”
5. Wall Had Mental Health Issues Including Schizophrenia, Said the Family of Wall’s Ex-Wife, & the Palm Beach County Sheriff Said the Deaths Could Have Been Prevented
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said during a press conference that the murders of the toddler and his grandmother could have been prevented. He said his department established a behavioral services unit which could have acted to investigate whether Wall had a gun and place him in mental health services.
Bradshaw further said Wall “fits the profile” of mass shooters.
“This didn’t have to happen,” he said.
The Associated Press reported that law enforcement agencies can seek orders from a judge to seize firearms from anyone who is considered a danger to themselves or others and hold the firearms for one year under Florida’s Red Flag law. After one year, the hold can be extended if law enforcement shows the person still presents a danger, the AP reported.
But Maia Knight, the sister of Wall’s ex-wife, said the woman tried to get him help and treatment, according to the Palm Beach Post.
“He had mental issues. He wasn’t taking care of himself,” Knight told the Post. “My sister was going to the courthouse, going to police, telling everyone he needs help. My sister was trying to help him but didn’t know how.”
A memorial including stuffed animals and flowers appeared outside Publix as witnesses to the shooting returned to claim their possessions Friday, June 11, 2021, according to WPTV.
Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera told Local 10 News in the hours after the shooting that the investigative process would be lengthy. Wall was identified after his next of kin was notified.
“We have three individuals deceased right now and we don’t have the next of kin notified, so please understand this is a long process,” Barbera told the news station at the time.
Barbera told the news station that PBSO was documenting the scene, interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance footage and video as part of the investigation and to determine a motive in the shooting.
Publix issued a statement saying, “Our thoughts are with those who are impacted by this tragedy,” according to The Palm Beach Post. “We are cooperating with the local law enforcement.”
The outlet indicated that police allowed few people to leave the store and “it appeared most workers and some customers were being kept inside” for interviews. Police were also checking license plates and “people were not being allowed to move their vehicles,” The Palm Beach Post reported.
Shoppers and employees were allowed to return to the store between 9 a.m. and noon Friday, June 11, to collect any items they left behind when fleeing the store, according to CBS 12. The Publix would remain closed until at least Sunday, the news station reported.
“You wouldn’t even know something devastating happened at the Royal Palm Beach Publix if you drove by this morning,” Madeline Montgomery of CBS 12 wrote on Twitter. “But the store will stay closed today as police continue to investigate the shooting that led to a grandmother and a toddler being killed.”