Gunman in Florida grocery store shot baby first before killing grandmother, investigator says

The gunman who opened fire in a Florida grocery store Thursday first fired one shot that killed a 1-year-old boy before struggling with the boy's 69-year-old grandmother and then fatally shooting her, authorities said.

Posted: Jun 11, 2021 5:03 PM

(CNN) -- The gunman who opened fire in a Florida grocery store Thursday first fired one shot that killed a 1-year-old boy before struggling with the boy's 69-year-old grandmother and then fatally shooting her, authorities said.

The shooter, identified as 55-year-old Timothy J. Wall, then killed himself, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

The motive in the shooting remains unknown. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office has said there is no known relationship between the shooter and the victims, who will remain unidentified after their families invoked Marsy's Law.

Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw indicated in a news conference Friday that Wall had expressed on social media a desire to "kill people and children."

Sheriff Maj. Talal Masri said authorities received the first call about shots fired at 11:35 a.m. By the time they arrived at the Publix Supermarket in Royal Palm Beach, they found both victims and the shooter dead.

Based on a review of video from inside the store, Masri said investigators determined the victims had arrived at 11:07 a.m.

Wall entered the store at 11:29 a.m., Masri said, carrying a golf putter like a walking stick. At 11:30 a.m., the grandmother and her grandson entered the produce section. Wall followed a minute later and was looking toward the victims, Masri said.

At 11:34 a.m., Masri said, Wall approached the victims, pulled out his gun and fired a single round, killing the child in the shopping cart. A struggle ensued between Wall and the grandmother, who was eventually thrown to the ground. Wall then shot her, too, Masri said.

Wall then killed himself.

The investigation remains ongoing, Masri said. Detectives have so far interviewed more than 30 people who were inside the store who either saw or heard the shooting happen.

Witnesses describe a chaotic scene after gunshots rang out, with people running for their lives.

"People thought it was balloons being popped," witness John Charles told CNN. He was trying to enter the store when he saw people running out. Store employees told him not to enter, he said.

"I was about to walk to the produce department and get some bananas for lunch and didn't make it to the store."

Witness Ron Glassman also saw the incident from the store's parking lot, telling CNN affiliate WPEC, "Everyone started coming out, yelling, 'Active shooter, shots fired, get out, get out.'"

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay issued a statement asking for thoughts and prayers for the victims' family and painted the shooting as yet another example of the scourge of American gun violence.

"We've become too numb to gun violence," McKinlay said on Twitter.

"Tomorrow we must step up and engage in a very honest conversation about why this happened and what we can do specifically to prevent this violence," she said. "Inaction is not an option."

A spokesperson for Publix told reporters Friday the store had been disinfected and rearranged.

"We discarded any product that was impacted and we also redesigned the layout of our store," said Maria Brous, Publix Supermarkets director of communications.

The employees impacted are being offered grief counseling, Brous said. The timing of the store's reopening will likely be announced Friday.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Terre Haute
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 92°
Robinson
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 90°
Indianapolis
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 88°
Rockville
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 91°
Casey
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
Brazil
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 92°
Marshall
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 92°
Clear, Warm & Muggy
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1411821

Reported Deaths: 25842
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook56221610554
DuPage935681321
Will779031042
Lake690991026
Kane60025816
Winnebago34649524
Madison32279533
St. Clair29901526
McHenry29537299
Peoria23680346
Champaign21517158
Sangamon19549245
McLean18817194
Tazewell17454308
Rock Island15371329
Kankakee14735224
Kendall13467100
LaSalle12938254
Macon11156215
DeKalb10258122
Vermilion10203154
Adams9468128
Williamson8064138
Whiteside7242174
Boone692680
Ogle628584
Grundy605079
Clinton588993
Coles5855101
Knox5727157
Jackson541365
Henry515270
Macoupin495990
Livingston493993
Woodford491683
Stephenson487886
Franklin484078
Effingham481574
Marion4739117
Jefferson4646123
Monroe450194
Randolph429387
Lee423154
Morgan412192
Fulton409959
Logan406766
Christian393875
Bureau384787
Montgomery383874
Iroquois328468
Perry327961
Fayette325956
McDonough304751
Jersey277752
Saline269757
Douglas262936
Union247141
Lawrence244127
Shelby235638
Crawford217626
Bond212924
Cass209927
Carroll204837
Pike199053
Ford193350
Hancock192232
Clark189734
Wayne188053
Warren186350
Jo Daviess183524
Richland180040
Edgar179642
White178826
Washington168225
Moultrie167428
Mason163147
De Witt161029
Piatt155314
Johnson153616
Clay153443
Greene152634
Mercer151534
Wabash146412
Massac141840
Cumberland130919
Menard127912
Jasper116818
Marshall109919
Hamilton88516
Schuyler8107
Brown8076
Pulaski7377
Stark66025
Edwards62812
Calhoun5362
Henderson53414
Scott5031
Gallatin4964
Putnam4943
Alexander48911
Hardin39512
Pope3384
Unassigned532432
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 766351

Reported Deaths: 13965
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1052671804
Lake568691028
Allen42858698
St. Joseph37286568
Hamilton37260426
Elkhart29729470
Tippecanoe23441230
Vanderburgh23153404
Porter19568327
Johnson18807391
Hendricks18059321
Madison13518345
Clark13502198
Vigo12817255
LaPorte12558224
Monroe12529178
Delaware11124198
Howard10654237
Kosciusko9751123
Hancock8734149
Bartholomew8256157
Warrick8053157
Floyd8005181
Grant7349181
Wayne7234201
Boone7173105
Morgan6904142
Marshall6329116
Dubois6270118
Cass6085111
Dearborn600078
Noble597890
Henry5944111
Jackson515677
Shelby509897
Lawrence4914127
Gibson461596
Montgomery457592
Clinton454555
DeKalb453685
Harrison452476
Whitley415345
Huntington414081
Steuben410260
Miami405073
Jasper400455
Knox388091
Putnam384662
Wabash368783
Adams352256
Ripley351071
Jefferson341586
White339354
Daviess3089100
Wells302781
Greene292985
Decatur291693
Fayette285864
Posey280935
Scott278758
LaGrange277172
Clay273148
Washington253537
Randolph247583
Jennings238649
Spencer237931
Fountain234850
Starke229959
Owen222259
Sullivan219543
Fulton207845
Jay202832
Carroll197122
Orange190956
Perry189739
Vermillion180044
Rush177327
Tipton172347
Franklin171935
Parke154816
Pike141434
Blackford137832
Pulaski123648
Newton123036
Benton109615
Brown105943
Crawford105516
Martin92515
Warren87715
Switzerland8328
Union73510
Ohio58311
Unassigned0428