Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane stated that the shooting took place at a Kroger supermarket in Collierville. This is a suburb community located 30 miles (50 km) east of Memphis. According to Lane, the gunman killed 13 people and himself. Twelve victims were transported to hospital with serious injuries.
Brignetta Dickerson, a Kroger worker, told WREG TV that she was at the cash register when she heard what she initially thought were balloons popping.
Dickerson stated, "And, he came right behind us and began shooting." He kept shooting, shooting and shooting. He shot my coworker in the head, and one of my customers in his stomach.
Lane stated that police received a call at 1:30 p.m. regarding the shooting. They arrived quickly and found multiple victims with gunshot wounds as they entered the building.
He claimed that a SWAT team of police officers and other officers went from aisle to aisle, rescuing panicked victims and taking them out. According to him, the shooter was a male and had died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.
"We found people hiding inside freezers and locked offices. The chief stated that they were doing exactly what they had been taught: running, hiding, fighting.
The identities of both the shooter as well as the victims could not be immediately released. Lane refused to give more details about the suspect during a Thursday evening news briefing, citing ongoing investigations and warrants that will be executed.
Lane stated that "we're going to take this thing as far to see and make certain that no other people are involved" adding that there was "no credible proof" that there was another shooter.
According to the chief, there was no other incident leading up to this.
Dickerson, an employee, claimed that her coworker in her 20s was shot in the head. She asked for his mother's notification.
Dickerson stated, "I left her an audio message that he was talking and alert" but could not reach her immediately.
Glenda McDonald, another employee, described the chaos scene to WHBQ TV.
Jason Lusk (39), had just left a Kroger tool store when he heard screams from the parking lot about a gunman. Although he didn't see him, he heard 10 to 15 shots at the grocery store.
He said that he heard the shots coming from his head and could feel the force of the weapon. He said that even at 40 yards, he felt like he was in danger.
He said, "As the fireworks started, I jumped in front of my car onto the ground to provide as much cover as possible and instructed those around me panicking to try to get into their cars, not to get in mine, but to hide."
Lusk stated that police arrived in a matter of minutes and "swarmed that area." He said that he had recorded at least two shots from the gunman and one final shot on his last recording of SWAT officers on the scene.
After the briefing, Lane said that it was a sad day for his police department.
He said, "I've been involved with this for 34 years and it's nothing like it."
According to the chief, the suspect's car was found in the store's lot. Investigators are still trying to figure out how the events occurred.
Lane stated, "Let's go through the investigation." "Remember, two hours are left to the most horrendous event in Collierville's history."
According to U.S. Census figures, Collierville is a rapidly growing suburb with more than 51,000 residents and a median household income around $114,000 The town square is located in a rural area and has become well-known for its boutiques, bed and breakfasts, and historical architecture.
Tennessee was the latest state to permit handgun ownership for adults over 21 without undergoing a background check or training. Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed the measure into law. Bill Lee was approved by some law enforcement groups, and gun control advocates who were concerned that the measure could lead to increased gun violence.
Kroger Co. was based in Cincinnati, Ohio and released a statement saying it was "deeply sorry" for the shooting and that it was cooperating with law enforcement. In 2019, the company requested that customers not openly carry guns in its stores.
Kroger spokesperson stated that the Collierville location will remain closed until further notice.
After nightfall, lights were still on in the shop. There was also a display of chrysanthemums at the front. Police were present to enforce strict security measures in the parking lot. The area was also home to a number of nearby businesses including a fast-food restaurant and an auto parts shop.