A horrific scene broke out in a Decatur, Georgia grocery store Monday after a disgruntled customer allegedly opened fire on a cashier.
The cashier at Big Bear Supermarket in DeKalb County, identified as LaQuita Willis, allegedly asked Victor Tucker Jr., 30 to wear a mask, citing the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation writes in its press release that, “Tucker left the store without making his purchase, but immediately returned inside. Tucker walked directly back to the cashier, pulled out a handgun and shot her.”
“There was some confrontation, argument — I’m not sure exactly what — in reference to the wearing of masks, at which time the subject pulled out a weapon and shot the cashier,” DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said.
At the time of the shooting, an off-duty deputy was working security at the store. After shooting the cashier, Tucker allegedly fired at the police deputy who returned the fire.
(Video: 11 Alive)
“That is what he’s trained to do, that’s part of his 30-year career in law enforcement. All of us here are trained to intervene and to respond,” Maddox said of the officer.
The deputy, identified as 54-year-old Danny Jordan, has worked with the DeKalb County Police Department for decades.
Tucker was arrested as he attempted to crawl out the front door of the grocery store, according to Fox5.
Willis and Tucker were reportedly sent to Grady Memorial Hospital. There, Willis was pronounced dead while Tucker remains in stable condition.
Jordan was sent to Atlanta Medical Center and is reportedly in stable condition. Maddox said that his bulletproof vest likely saved his life.
Another cashier was “grazed by a bullet” and was able to receive treatment on the scene as reported by Fox 5.
The owner of the grocery store, Ray Kim, told 11 Alive News that Willis “was a kind, loving, human being, who simply asked a customer–the suspect–to pull up his face mask.”
The police department announced that it is issuing warrants for Tucker. A murder charge is expected along with other pending charges according to Fox 5.
“DeKalb jail records indicate he has been arrested numerous times in the past decade on misdemeanor charges ranging from driving under the influence to family violence,” noted The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “In May 2018, Tucker was arrested on multiple charges, including cruelty to children and battery related to family violence, DeKalb jail records show.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will reportedly conduct an independent investigation which will be turned over to the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office for review upon completion.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Willis family, the injured sheriff’s deputy and everyone impacted by yesterday’s senseless incident,” Michaela N. Vincent, DeKalb County police spokesperson, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Willis reportedly worked at the store location for over a decade according to a GoFundMe set up by her family.
This marks the 41st shooting involving Georgia law enforcement that GBI has been asked to investigate this year.
Sheriff Maddox commended Jordan for his quick response.
“He is a stand-up, professional individual and he loves what he does. As you see, he’s continuing to do what he does to make sure that everybody is safe as they go in and out of that store,” Maddox said.
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