NEW YORK – At least one person was killed and two injured after a shooter opened fire inside a manager’s office at a Long Island grocery store Tuesday, police said.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder named Gabriel DeWitt Wilson as a person of interest in the shooting and told reporters the suspect fled the scene at the Stop and Shop in West Hempstead, New York, heading west on a turnpike.
Ryder said the suspect, a Black man, was dressed in all black and believed to be armed with a small handgun. He said the man may be a current or former employee of the grocery store.
The person killed was a 49-year-old store employee, Ryder said. A couple hundred shoppers were inside the store, and the shooting occurred inside an upstairs manager’s office, he said.
Police tweeted a photo of Wilson and asked the public to call 911 if they saw him.
Nassau County police officer Scott Santomero confirmed to USA TODAY officers were responding to a call before noon Tuesday of shots fired at the Stop and Shop.
In a tweet, the department advised residents to remain indoors. Officers were “canvassing the area & nearby schools have been notified to lock down & secure their buildings.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was monitoring the situation and state police have been directed to assist local authorities. “I’m praying for the victims, and my heart breaks for their families and loved ones.”
In a statement, Stop and Shop President Gordon Reid said he was “shocked and heartbroken by this act of violence.”
“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. At this time, we are cooperating fully with local law enforcement on the investigation,” Reid said
John Durso, president of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW, a union that represents many of the workers at the store, said he was “devastated” by the shooting.
“We as a society must recognize that gun violence is a workplace safety issue and that as part of this healing, we must make changes to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. We owe it to our essential workers,” Durso said in a statement.
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West Hempstead’s school district said in a Facebook post its buildings were in a “lockout” and advised the public to stay away.
West Hempstead in Nassau County is located just a few miles east of Queens in New York City.
The shooting is the latest in recent string of public active shooter incidents in the U.S.; multiple people were gunned down at a tavern in Wisconsin and a FedEx facility in Indianapolis within the last week.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.