Two people are dead and a police officer is wounded after gunfire broke out Tuesday morning at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi, the third-largest city in the state. The suspect and an officer who responded to the scene were both shot and wounded and were being treated at nearby hospitals, DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco told TV station FOX13.
The names of the two victims have not been released. One victim was found dead inside the store and another was found in the parking lot. WREG-TV reports both of the people who died were Walmart employees and that the alleged shooter is a former Walmart employee who was suspended on Monday after pulling a knife on a customer.
Employees are reportedly being told that they cannot leave the scene. Some of them were seen gathering in a circle to pray after the shooting.
The injured officer's bulletproof vest stopped the bullet and he is expected to be OK, FOX13 reports. The suspect's condition is not clear.
Carlos Odom was walking out of the store when "I heard a bunch of gunshots. Pop pop pop pop — more than dozen shots," Odom told CNN. "I just thought, 'Run!' and ran to my car. This is crazy. The world is crazy nowadays."
People were being asked to avoid the area.
Southaven sits near the Mississippi-Tennessee border and is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, with 49,000 residents.
The Walmart shooting comes just two days after a 19-year-old man opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival about an hour southwest of San Jose in California's Bay Area. Three people, including a 6-year-old boy, 13-year-old girl and 25-year-old man were killed in that shooting, and at least 12 people were injured. The shooter was killed by police who were working the festival.
Late Sunday night and early Tuesday morning, five people were killed and two others injured in Wisconsin in two residential shootings believed to be connected. Chippewa County deputies responded to a 911 call about a shooting at a residence at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, finding a man and woman dead. Two others were rushed to the hospital. Deputies then went to another residence about nine miles away at about 2:30 a.m. Monday to notify the family of one of the victims of the first shootings. There, they found a man, woman and boy dead of gunshot wounds. The person suspected in both Wisconsin shootings was among the dead.