Police said a dispute over mask requirements led to a lethal shooting in a Georgia grocery store on Monday with one fatality and two people injured.
DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox told reporters in a media briefing that the incident began when a male walked into a Big Bear grocery store in DeKalb County about 1 p.m. and argued with employees about the mask requirement.
The man left the store without completing his purchase but then walked back in. He then allegedly pulled out a handgun, shot and killed the female cashier.
Maddox said an off-duty deputy was at the scene on his part-time job, and he fired at the suspect, striking him.
“That is what he’s trained to do, that’s part of his 30-year career in law enforcement,” Maddox said of the off-duty deputy. “All of us here are trained to intervene and to respond.”
The suspect then fired back at the deputy, striking him twice. The suspect was arrested by responding officers while he was trying to crawl out of the store.
Both men were hospitalized after the incident. The off-duty officer was listed in stable condition, according to reports. The suspect is also listed in stable condition.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation tweeted later that they had identified the suspect as 30-year-old Victor Lee Tucker Jr. Authorities added that a second cashier had been grazed by a bullet during the shooting.
“I seen him when he walked in, he started just slapping the lady about something, I don’t know what it was, and then he started shootin’,” said an eyewitness to WXIA-TV.
“He just walks in the store, past the guard, past me, and just starts hittin’ her with the gun,” he added.
A large sign outside the store read, “No Mask, No Service.”
Here’s more about the lethal mask dispute in Georgia:
DeKalb deputy injured, cashier killed in DeKalb County shooting