DECATUR, Ga. — A Georgia grocery store cashier died and two men, including an off-duty sheriff’s deputy and the suspected shooter, were wounded after a face mask dispute escalated Monday to a triple shooting.
Update 2:45 p.m. ET June 15: Police on Tuesday identified the cashier killed Monday after she asked a customer to wear a mask inside the Big Bear grocery store in Decatur, Georgia.
Laquitta Willis, 41, died from her injuries. An off-duty DeKalb County sheriff’s deputy was also injured in the shooting, as was the suspected shooter, Victor Lee Tucker Jr., WSB-TV reported.
Tucker is facing charges of murder and two counts of aggravated assault, the TV station reported.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Willis family, the injured sheriff’s deputy and everyone impacted by yesterday’s senseless incident,” DeKalb County police said in a prepared statement.
Original report: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed in a news release that it responded to an officer-involved shooting at the Big Bear in Decatur at 1:10 p.m.
The suspect, who is listed in stable condition at an area hospital, has been identified as Victor Lee Tucker Jr., 30, of Palmetto, the GBI stated.
According to the bureau, the cashier, who has not been publicly identified, told Tucker to put on a mask, prompting the altercation.
“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,” the GBI stated, noting Tucker then opened fire on the off-duty DeKalb County sheriff’s deputy who attempted to intervene.
DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox told WSB-TV that the deputy, who has also not been publicly identified, “returned fire, shooting the suspect.”
Two DeKalb County police officers arrested Tucker as he was attempting to crawl out the store’s front door, the TV station reported.
Meanwhile, a second cashier was grazed by a bullet during the shooting but was treated at the scene, the GBI stated.
The owner of the store, who declined to be identified, told WSB-TV that he hired the off-duty deputy, who was listed Monday evening in stable condition at an Atlanta area hospital, to help enforce Big Bear’s mask policy.
Tucker is “well known” among the store’s regular customers, the TV station reported.
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