West Hempstead: Man held in connection with the grocery shooting, police say

The shooting took place in a manager’s office on the upper level of a Stop & Shop grocery store in the parish of West Hempstead, New York. There were a few hundred people in the shop, said the police.

Gabriel DeWitt Wilson is someone “We think he’s the shooter,” said Patrick Ryder, Nassau County Police Commissioner, before Wilson was taken into custody.

“He walked out of the scene and was seen still carrying the gun,” Ryder told reporters.

The shooting killed a store manager, a Nassau county official told CNN on condition of anonymity. Police previously said the person who died was 49 years old but had not released a name.

The two wounded survivors were rushed to hospital, were conscious and spoke to police officers, authorities said.

Wilson, around 30, was last seen driving west on a nearby turnpike, police said. Police said Wilson was about 6 feet 2 inches tall and wearing a black baseball cap and sweatshirt.

Ryder said he worked in the store, but investigators aren’t sure he’s still there.

Authorities say they have no motive for the shooting in West Hempstead, about 10 miles east of the New York borough of Queens.

Police have searched the area and the nearby schools have been instructed to secure their buildings, said Nassau County spokeswoman Christine Geed.

West Hempstead and Franklin Square school districts reported that their facilities were introducing lockouts. Lockouts in the Franklin Square neighborhood mean no one can enter or leave the building, the superintendent said.

The local union leader, who represented many workers in the shop, said the leadership was devastated and representatives were on the ground.

“Last year was a year of resilience, but also full of great worry,” said John Durso, president of RWDSU / UFCW, citing the pandemic. “These workers have been through an enormous amount and should never have to fear for their safety.”

CNN’s Ganesh Setty, Paul P. Murphy, Mark Morales and Jennifer Henderson contributed to this report.