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US grocery store shooting: Death toll rises to 3

News Agencies | Updated on: 22 June 2024, 9:32 IST
US grocery store shooting

Fordyce (Arkansas): The death toll in a shooting at a grocery store in Fordyce, Arkansas, has climbed to three and ten people have been wounded, including two police officers, authorities confirmed in a news conference Friday, CNN reported.

The Arkansas State Police reported that the incident unfolded at the Mad Butcher grocery store around 11:30 am local time. Mike Hagar, Secretary of Public Safety and Director of Arkansas State Police said that law enforcement swiftly responded to the scene and engaged in a confrontation with the "lone suspect", exchanging gunfire.

Both officers and the suspect sustained injuries, but none are believed to be life-threatening. The injuries to the officers and the suspect are not considered life-threatening, according to Hagar. He noted the "situation is secured ...contained. There are no active threats to the community," as reported by CNN.

"The remaining civilian injuries range from non-life threatening to extremely critical," he said.

The tragic incident adds to the grim statistics of gun violence in the United States, with at least 234 mass shootings reported in 2024, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive. The definition used by the archive, and confirmed by CNN, categorises mass shootings as incidents where four or more people, excluding the shooter, are shot.

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders expressed deep concern over the incident, stating she has been briefed on the situation and remains in constant communication with state police. Eyewitnesses recalled harrowing scenes as gunfire erupted. David Rodriguez, who witnessed the chaos unfold, described initially mistaking the gunshots for fireworks.

"Then the shots started coming faster, and I saw people running," he told CNN. He observed emergency responders arriving swiftly at the scene, with shattered windows at the grocery store indicating the intensity of the gunfire. Matthew Gill, the meat manager at Mad Butcher, provided further insight into the confrontation.

"A man entered with a shotgun, leading to an exchange of gunfire with police," he recounted to CNN. During the ordeal, some store occupants sought refuge in a cooler, as described by Fordyce City Council Member Roderick Rogers.

"It was a terrifying situation," Rogers shared, noting the psychological toll on survivors who are now in need of counselling and support.

Fordyce, a small community in southeast Dallas County with a population of just 3,396, has been shaken by this violent episode. The aftermath of the shooting has prompted local authorities to focus on assisting those affected by the tragedy, CNN reported.


First published: 22 June 2024, 9:32 IST