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3 dead, 6 wounded, including officer, in shooting at Ark. grocery store

“The police started to show up, and then there was massive gunfire and ambulances pulling up. The bullets were just flying,” a witness said

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Police respond to the scene of a shooting on Friday, June 21, 2024 in Fordyce, Ark.

AP

Associated Press

FORDYCE, Ark. — A shooter who opened fire Friday at a grocery store in Arkansas left the store and parked cars riddled with bullet holes as bystanders ducked for cover both indoors and in the parking lot, killing 3 people and wounding 10 others, authorities said.

The wounded included two law enforcement officers who exchanged fire with the shooter, state police said. The shooting occurred about 11:30 a.m. at the Mad Butcher grocery store in Fordyce, a city of about 3,200 people located 65 miles (104 kilometers) south of Little Rock.

“It’s tragic, our hearts are broken,” Col. Mike Hagar, director of State Police and public safety secretary, told reporters Friday.

Neither the officers’ nor the suspected shooter’s injuries were life threatening. The remaining injuries ranged from “not life-threatening to extremely critical,” Hagar said.

It’s the latest mass shooting where a grocery store is its backdrop. A white supremacist in 2022 killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket. That shooting came a little more than a year after one at a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket, where 10 people were killed.

Police did not immediately say whether the shooting occurred inside or outside the store. Police did not identify the suspected shooter or the victims, but said they expected to release more information Friday night.

Roderick Rogers, a member of the city council, said he called the county sheriff when employees at his restaurant nearby notified him of the shooting.

Rogers said when he got there, he saw people running for cover in every direction, even one running to the hospital nearby.

“People were just jumping into cars to get to safety,” Rogers said.

Video posted on social media showed at least one person lying in the parking lot, while another captured multiple gunshots ringing out.

Amiya Doherty said she was in her mother’s car in the grocery store’s parking lot when she heard what she was thought was fireworks. When she saw a man holding a gun and firing, she said she ducked out of view.

“I held my sister’s hand and I told her I love her,” Doherty told Little Rock television station KATV.

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Images from reporters on the scene showed a slew of bullet holes in the grocery store’s window, and spent shell casings strewn throughout the parking lot. In video footage, local and state agencies could be seen responding to the scene, with at least one medical helicopter landing nearby.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she had been briefed on the shooting.

“I am thankful to law enforcement and first responders for their quick and heroic action to save lives,” Sanders posted on the social media platform X. “My prayers are with the victims and all those impacted by this.”

David Rodriguez, 58, had stopped at his local gas station in Fordyce to fill up his car when he heard what he thought were fireworks from a nearby vendor’s stand.

“We heard a few little pops,” he said.

He then saw people running from the Mad Butcher grocery store into the parking lot, and one person lying on the ground. He began recording video with his phone before the gunfire escalated.

“The police started to show up, and then there was massive gunfire and ambulances pulling up,” he said. “The bullets were just flying.”