Victor Lee Tucker Jr. is the Georgia man accused of shooting and killing a supermarket cashier during an argument about his face mask. It happened at a Big Bear store in Decatur on June 14, 2021.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Tucker also exchanged gunfire with an off-duty sheriff’s deputy who was working at Big Bear as a security guard at the time. Tucker and the deputy both suffered gunshot wounds and were hospitalized, officials said.
The cashier was pronounced dead at a hospital. Police have identified her as Laquitta Willis, 41, the AP reported. According to WAGA-TV, Willis had worked at Big Bear for about 10 years.
The deputy has been identified as Danny Jordan, 54, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Tucker Briefly Left the Store Before Returning & Shooting the Cashier, Officials Say
The shooting took place around 1:10 p.m. on June 14, 2021, at the Big Bear grocery store located on Candler Road in Decatur, Georgia. Investigators said Tucker argued with the female cashier in the checkout line about his face mask.
The store owner told WXIA-TV that the cashier had asked Tucker to pull up his mask. He said Tucker refused to do so.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Tucker left the store without buying his items before returning moments later. Investigators said he walked back up to the cashier, pulled a handgun and shot her.
Officials said a security guard, who was identified as an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, pulled his own weapon. He and Tucker exchanged gunfire and both were shot. DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said both men were hit multiple times.
Two DeKalb County Police Department officers then arrested Tucker. According to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation press release, Tucker tried to crawl out the front door of the supermarket.
According to the press release, a second cashier was also grazed by a bullet and treated at the scene.
2. Tucker Has Been Charged With Murder & Aggravated Assault
Tucker was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital after the shooting, officials said, and his condition was stable.
It was not immediately clear how long Tucker would be in the hospital. As of June 16, Tucker was not listed as a current inmate in DeKalb County, according to online records.
According to DeKalb County court records, Tucker faces charges for murder, aggravated assault of an officer with a weapon and aggravated assault with intent to kill. The online record does not yet list the name of an attorney who could speak on Tucker’s behalf.
3. The Off-Duty Deputy May Have Saved Other Lives, Officials Say
Maddox said the off-duty deputy at the Big Bear is a 30-year law enforcement veteran. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution named him as Danny Jordan, 54. He was taken to Atlanta Medical Center and was expected to recover, according to the press release.
Maddox said the deputy previously worked for the Dekalb County Police Department. After retiring, he became a reserve deputy for the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. He worked part-time at Big Bear, WAGA-TV reported.
Maddox stressed during the news conference that the deputy did “what he is trained to do” by confronting Tucker. When asked, she said his actions may have protected other people in the store from harm. She described him as a “stand-up, professional individual.”
4. Court Records Suggest Tucker Has Been Arrested on Charges of Battery & Carrying a Concealed Weapon
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified Tucker as a resident of Palmetto, Georgia. He is 30 years old.
DeKalb County court records list a 30-year-old Victor Lee Tucker Jr. with several prior arrests. The list includes a case from 2018 in which the defendant was charged with battery, cruelty to children and obstruction of law enforcement.
The record adds this was a case of family violence. The defendant pleaded guilty to two counts, was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to attend parenting classes.
Records show Tucker was also charged with several counts of misdemeanor battery and family violence in 2012 and pleaded no contest to one of those charges. He was ordered to anger management classes and a year of probation.
In 2009, he pleaded guilty to a charge of carrying a concealed weapon and received 12 months probation, according to court records.
5. Masks Are Still Required in Public in Decatur
Coronavirus restrictions have been easing around the country. But cities still have the option of enforcing mask mandates in public places. Decatur, Georgia, still has a mask mandate in place.
On May 17, the Decatur City Commission extended the mandate until June 21, at which time they will reconsider the issue, according to Decaturish. The City Commission decided to keep it in place because, as of mid-May, less than 20% of the city’s population had been vaccinated. The city hoped vaccination rates would go up by June 21.
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