A gunman shot and killed a toddler and his grandmother earlier than fatally taking pictures himself inside a Publix grocery retailer in Palm Seaside County, Fla., on Thursday morning, the authorities mentioned.
Deputies from the Palm Seaside County Sheriff’s Workplace discovered their our bodies close to the produce part once they entered the shop, in Royal Palm Seaside, simply earlier than 11:40 a.m., a Sheriff’s Workplace spokeswoman mentioned.
The names of the victims and the gunman weren’t instantly launched.
The kid, a boy, would have turned 2 later this month, mentioned Teri Barbera, the sheriff’s spokeswoman.
“We don’t have any concept who the male is right now,” Ms. Barbera mentioned, referring to the gunman.
In a while Thursday, the authorities mentioned there was no identified relationship between the gunman and the 2 victims. A motive for the taking pictures nonetheless had not been decided.
Investigators have been reviewing safety video from the shop and speaking to witnesses, Ms. Barbera mentioned.
“What we’re doing now’s documenting the scene,” Ms. Barbera mentioned. “We’re making an attempt to find out what led as much as the taking pictures.”
The shop is in a shopping mall referred to as the Crossroads, off Okeechobee Boulevard and Royal Palm Seaside Boulevard. The village of Royal Palm Seaside is about 12 miles west of Palm Seaside, Fla.
“Our ideas are with those that are impacted by this tragedy,” Maria Brous, a spokeswoman for Publix, mentioned in an announcement. “We’re cooperating with the native regulation enforcement.”
Helicopter footage from native TV stations confirmed a heavy police presence exterior the shop, with about 15 police vehicles on the scene.
Juan Guardia, a Publix buyer, informed reporters on the scene that he was within the retailer’s deli space when he heard gunshots. A retailer worker yelled, “a shooter, a shooter!” he mentioned.
Joey Mendoza informed The South Florida Solar Sentinel that he was pulling into the parking zone on his strategy to the Publix when he noticed police cruisers and officers, some in tactical gear, approaching the shop.
“I noticed them working in, I didn’t get out of the automobile,” he mentioned. “They only saved coming. Cruiser after cruiser, ambulance after ambulance, hearth truck after hearth truck.”
Officers on the close by Crestwood Center College briefly locked the varsity down, in keeping with the College District of Palm Seaside County. An worker at a Greenback Tree retailer within the purchasing advanced mentioned the plaza was locked down whereas the authorities investigated the taking pictures.
Melissa McKinlay, a Palm Seaside County commissioner who represents the world the place the taking pictures passed off, mentioned on Twitter that “we’ve turn into too numb to gun violence.”
She requested the general public “to mourn for the lack of these lives and pray for these inside Publix who witnessed this tragedy.”
Neil Vigdor contributed reporting.