Photo: Kroger on on New Byhalia Rd. in Collierville, TN; Photo Credit: Google Earth
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
On Thursday, multiple people were injured when a shooting occurred inside a Kroger in a city East of Memphis, Tennessee. The incident took place in Collierville and has been called the town’s “most horrific event” in history.
Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane confirmed that two are dead, including the shooter, and the total number of victims is 14. Several people were left injured.
According to Lane, the suspected shooter’s death is believed to be a suicide. The shooter’s car is still parked at the store and is currently being investigated. While the suspect was identified as male, investigators have not released his full identity.
During a press conference, Lane did not confirm if he was a store employee, but WREG says there are sources claiming he was a subcontractor that worked in the Kroger deli.
Officers and a SWAT team entered the store in the afternoon and found multiple people, including store employees, hiding in the aisles and freezer.
“I’ve been involved in this for 34 years and I’ve never seen a scene like this,” Lane said during the news conference.
There were 44 Kroger employees working at the time, but officials have said they are all okay and accounted for.
“This is a horrible day in Collierville,” Lane said. “Our hearts go out to the victims, families, and friends involved in the senseless tragedy. Please keep our community in your thoughts and prayers. At this time, there are no known threats to the Collierville community and our department is working diligently to prevent further violence.”
The Chief of police also addressed a picture that began circulating of someone on the roof of the Kroger, saying it was a store employee.
A Kroger spokesperson also released a statement to address the incident.
“We are deeply saddened by the incident that occurred at our Kroger store located on New Byhalia Rd. in Collierville, TN – a suburb of Memphis,” the statement read. “The entire Kroger family offers our thoughts, prayers and support to the individuals and families of the victims during this difficult time. We are cooperating with local law enforcement, who have secured the store and parking lot. The store will remain closed while the police investigation continues, and we have initiated counseling services for our associates. To protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation, we are referring questions to the Collierville Police Department.”
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Tennessee Senators Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn shared their reaction to the news on Twitter.
“Tragic news out of Collierville, TN, that I’m closely monitoring,” Hagerty said. “I’m grateful to law enforcement & first responders for their heroic actions. Chrissy & I are praying for the victims & this TN community that is hurting. My office is available to anyone needing assistance.”
Blackburn said her office was also monitoring the situation.
“Our office has been in contact with ATF, TBI, and local authorities on the ground, and we are closely monitoring the situation in Collierville. We are praying for all of the victims,” she shared on Twitter.
While the scene has been secured, the Collierville Police Department said the investigation is still ongoing.
Lane said, “It’s going to take a little bit before we know what happened.”
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com