One person is dead and two were injured after a man opened fire in a West Hempstead, Long Island, Stop & Shop late Tuesday morning.
Authorities launched a manhunt for “a person of interest” in the shooting, 30-year-old Gabriel DeWitt Wilson.
The person who died was around 49-years-old according to law enforcement who are withholding the identifies of the other two people who sustained injuries. They were rushed to a local hospital where they are being categorized as conscious and alert, while assisting law enforcement with their investigation.
According to Nassau County police, DeWitt entered the store around 11:20 a.m. entered an office area located upstairs and opened fire, striking at least three store employees. Although the motive is unknown, authorities confirmed that DeWitt was a former employee or currently worked at the store.
Police have issued a warning in case a bystander comes into contact with DeWitt:
“Do not approach if you see him; please call 911 immediately,” Nassau County police warned. “If you you have ANY information regarding this person of interest, please call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS (8477).”
According to eyewitnesses, DeWitt fled the scene directly after the shooting and was last seen heading westbound on Hempstead Turnpike. DeWitt is described as approximately 6’2″ in height and is wearing a black baseball hat and a black sweatshirt. DeWitt once resided in Baltimore County and was previously arrested for assault in 2006.
Neighboring schools in the area locked down their campuses as safety precautions.
“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, our associates, customers and the first responders who have responded heroically to this tragic situation,” a statement by Shop & Stop reads according to NBC New York. “At this time, we are cooperating fully with local law enforcement on the investigation. The store will remain closed until further notice, and we appreciate the Long Island community’s support during this difficult time.”
“Our thoughts are with the victims, their loved ones, and all those, including workers and customers, who witnessed today’s horrifying events. Our priority is and always will be the physical and mental well-being of our members,” a Shop & Stop union spokesperson said in a statement. “Representatives of our union are onsite at Stop & Shop and will be ensuring that our members have all of the support they need, including access to counseling. We encourage our members to reach out to us for anything they may need during this difficult time.”
Wilson marks the second Black man to be ID’D as a suspect in mass shooting over the last two weeks, along with Stephen Broderick, 41, a former Texas detective accused of fatally shooting three people.
According to CNN, there have been at least 50 mass shootings since the Atlanta spa shootings in March.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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What We Know About Gabriel DeWitt Wilson: Suspect In Long Island Stop & Shop Shooting was originally published on newsone.com