WEST HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — An employee suspected of shooting three workers at an office inside a Long Island grocery store Tuesday, killing a manager, was arrested hours after fleeing, police said.
Gabriel DeWitt Wilson, 31, was taken into custody around 3:15 p.m. at an apartment building about two miles from the store, Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said. Information on charges and a lawyer who could speak on Wilson’s behalf wasn’t immediately available.
The shooting happened around 11:15 a.m. inside offices upstairs from the shopping floor at the Stop & Shop supermarket in West Hempstead, Ryder said.
Wilson, a shopping cart wrangler at the store, went to the offices immediately after arriving for work, wounding a man and a woman in one room before going down the hall and killing a 49-year-old store manager, Ryder said.
There were about a “couple hundred” shoppers inside the store at the time, he said.
“They told us to just run and get out, and that’s what we did,” shopper Laura Catanese told News 12 Long Island.
Barbara Butterman told Newsday she heard four or five shots while shopping for produce, initially thinking the sound was something falling in the back storeroom.
“Everyone was running around upstairs where offices were,” Butterman told the newspaper.
The name of the victims have not been made public. The two wounded were hospitalized and were conscious and alert.
Wilson has a criminal record and had been taken into custody previously in Nassau County for a mental health evaluation, Ryder said.
Wilson was involved in a shooting in Baltimore seven years to the day before Tuesday’s supermarket shooting, records show. According to police, Wilson and another man fired shots at each other and were hospitalized with lower body wounds. Attempted murder charges against Wilson in that case were later dropped, records show.