3 Dead in Shooting at Publix Supermarket in Florida
A gunman fatally shot a toddler and his grandmother before killing himself inside the store in Palm Beach County, the authorities said.,
3 Dead in Florida Supermarket Shooting
A shooting at a Publix supermarket in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., on Thursday, left three people dead, including a child, according to local authorities.
“So at 11:40, deputies responded to a shooting here at the Publix, the 1100 block of Royal Palm Beach Boulevard. Upon arrival, deputies located three deceased individuals inside the store near the produce area. We have an adult male, an adult female and a child. What we’re doing right now is we’re documenting the scene. We’re trying to determine what led up to the shooting. We’re talking to witnesses. We’re reviewing video.” “I came out of the bank. I then drove over about halfway between the bank and the Publix, got out of my car. I was about 100 feet from the Publix entrance — although I wasn’t going in there, I was going a couple of doors down — and about 50 people came out, staff and customers, I presume, yelling, screaming, ‘Get back. There’s a shooter. We heard shots. Stay away, get back.’ Very fortunate that I wasn’t there. And I feel for the people who were left behind, who if — If they don’t know it already, will find out that three people aren’t coming home, including a child.”
A gunman shot and killed a toddler and his grandmother before fatally shooting himself inside a Publix grocery store in Palm Beach County, Fla., on Thursday morning, the authorities said.
Deputies from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office found their bodies near the produce section when they entered the store, in Royal Palm Beach, just before 11:40 a.m., a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said.
The names of the victims and the gunman were not immediately released.
The child, a boy, would have turned 2 later this month, said Teri Barbera, the sheriff’s spokeswoman.
“We don’t have any idea who the male is at this time,” Ms. Barbera said, referring to the gunman.
Later on Thursday, the authorities said there was no known relationship between the gunman and the two victims. A motive for the shooting still had not been determined.
Investigators were reviewing security video from the store and talking to witnesses, Ms. Barbera said.
“What we are doing now is documenting the scene,” Ms. Barbera said. “We’re trying to determine what led up to the shooting.”
The store is in a shopping center called the Crossroads, off Okeechobee Boulevard and Royal Palm Beach Boulevard. The village of Royal Palm Beach is about 12 miles west of Palm Beach, Fla.
“Our thoughts are with those who are impacted by this tragedy,” Maria Brous, a spokeswoman for Publix, said in a statement. “We are cooperating with the local law enforcement.”
Helicopter footage from local TV stations showed a heavy police presence outside the store, with about 15 police cars at the scene.
Juan Guardia, a Publix customer, told reporters at the scene that he was in the store’s deli area when he heard gunshots. A store employee yelled, “a shooter, a shooter!” he said.
Joey Mendoza told The South Florida Sun Sentinel that he was pulling into the parking lot on his way to the Publix when he saw police cruisers and officers, some in tactical gear, approaching the store.
“I saw them running in, I didn’t get out of the vehicle,” he said. “They just kept coming. Cruiser after cruiser, ambulance after ambulance, fire truck after fire truck.”
Officials at the nearby Crestwood Middle School briefly locked the school down, according to the School District of Palm Beach County. An employee at a Dollar Tree store in the shopping complex said the plaza was locked down while the authorities investigated the shooting.
Melissa McKinlay, a Palm Beach County commissioner who represents the area where the shooting took place, said on Twitter that “we’ve become too numb to gun violence.”
She asked the public “to mourn for the loss of these lives and pray for those inside of Publix who witnessed this tragedy.”
Neil Vigdor contributed reporting.