SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (WREG) — Two people are dead and two others injured following a shooting at the Walmart early Tuesday morning.
According to the Southaven Police Department, dispatch began receiving calls of an active shooter at the store located at 6811 Southcrest Boulevard around 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 30. Callers even said the alleged suspect had set fire to an interior part of the store.
When officers arrived six minutes later approximately 60 employees were still inside the building.
Officers began searching the store and the parking lot for the reported shooter at that time. They eventually located him in the parking lot and that’s when one of the responding officers was shot. The bullet hit his bulletproof vest, saving him from a significant injury.
At that point another officer opened fire on the suspect, striking him twice. He was rushed to the Regional Medical Center where he is currently undergoing surgery.
Two Walmart employees were killed during the shooting. One of them has been identified by WREG’s Melissa Moon as Brandon Gales. The second victim, the officer involved and the suspect have not been identified.
Brandon Gales’ father said his son was 38 years old and leaves behind three children. He said his son grew up in Hernando, and was a department manager who’d worked at the Walmart for 15 or 16 years.
Our Memphis affiliate WREG has learned the that former employee was suspended on Monday after pulling a knife on a customer. It appears he then returned to the store on Tuesday and opened fire.
The incident sent employees running from the scene into a nearby parking lot a safe distance away. Some of them were gathered in a circle praying for those who had been injured or killed, while others were being interviewed by police.
Hours after the incident two of them were transported from the scene by ambulance. It’s unclear if they were injured, over heated or in shock.
Read more from our Memphis affiliate WREG News 3.
Walmart issued a statement Tuesday morning:
We’re deeply saddened by the reports from our store in Southaven, Mississippi. We are working with local law enforcement and will continue to update as we learn more. Our hearts are with the victims, their families and the entire Southaven community.