Tennessee Grocery Store Workers Hid in Freezers During Mass Shooting: 'Senseless Act of Violence'

The woman who was killed in the shooting has been identified by family as Olivia King

Tennessee mass shooting
Kroger in Collierville. Photo: WMCA Action News 5

The woman killed in a shooting inside a Kroger supermarket in Tennessee on Thursday has been identified as survivors are detailing the terrifying scene.

Twelve people were shot and one was killed in the shooting. The gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. The identity of the shooter, or any connection he may have had to the supermarket, remains unclear.

The victim was identified as Olivia King, according to her family, who said that she was shot in the chest and later died at the hospital.

"This type of crime needs to stop being glossed over and sanitized. No one deserves this," King's son, Wes, wrote on Facebook. "Our family is devastated by this senseless act of violence. We ask that you pray for the repose of the soul of our mother, Olivia King. We also ask everyone for their prayers for all families and friends affected by the events today, as well as for God's mercy on the shooter and his family. Thank you."

Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane described the shooting scene as "horrific," saying that people were hiding in freezers and offices inside the store.

"I've never seen anything like it," he told reporters. "There were numerous employees that were working. We found people hiding in freezers and in locked offices. They were doing what they were trained to do: Run. Hide. Fight."

One Kroger employee, Brignetta Dickerson, was working when the shooting began, hiding in the back with her coworkers, according to CBS.

"He kept on shooting, shooting, shooting," Dickerson told the outlet. "He shot one of my coworkers in the head, and then shot one of the customers in the stomach, and then my other customer got kind of like cuts because of the asphalt."

In a press release issued by the Collierville Police Department, Lane said in a statement, "This is a horrible day in Collierville. Our hearts go out to the victims, families, and friends involved in the senseless tragedy. Please keep our community in your thoughts and prayers. At this time, there are no known threats to the Collierville community and our department is working diligently to prevent further violence."

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) released a statement on the shooting, ensuring that the organization would be working to provide assistance to those affected.

"We are heartbroken that another act of senseless violence has occurred at a grocery store," said UFCW President Marc Perrone in a statement. "There are no words that can express the impact these horrific acts of violence have on workers, our union members, and our customers."

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"We are deeply saddened by the incident that occurred at our Kroger store located on New Byhalia Rd. in Collierville, TN – a suburb of Memphis," a Kroger spokesperson said Thursday. "The entire Kroger family offers our thoughts, prayers and support to the individuals and families of the victims during this difficult time."

The spokesperson added: "We are cooperating with local law enforcement, who have secured the store and parking lot. The store will remain closed while the police investigation continues, and we have initiated counseling services for our associates."

According to CBS, 44 employees were in the store at the time and Kroger is offering counseling services in response.

The shooting is still under investigation by the Collierville Police Department as well as local, state, and federal agencies.

The Collierville Police Department will hold a press conference Friday morning with updates on the investigation.

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