An ex-Marine — armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and an automatic pistol — fired indiscriminately in a New Jersey supermarket, killing two co-workers before turning the gun on himself on Friday, in the fourth major shooting incident in the U.S. in over a month.
The gunman was identified as 23-year-old Terence Tyler, an ex-Marine who worked at the Pathmark store for the last two weeks, the local WABC TV reported.
He fired shots which killed two people and then shot himself dead. Old Bridge mayor Owen Henry said.
“This is the worst phone call a mayor can receive,” Mr. Henry said.
“You can prepare for these things but you can’t prevent them. The gunman, an ex-Marine, had been working at the store for about two weeks,” Mr. Henry was quoted by the New Jersey Star Ledger as saying.
The employee opened fire at the Pathmarket store in Old Bridge in New Jersey at around 4 am (local time) on Friday morning as some workers were preparing to open the store, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said.
Authorities said the man left the store around 3:30 am (local time) and returned half-an-hour later with a handgun, AK-47 assault rifle and multiple ammunition magazines. The man fired the rifle at the first workers he saw, killing an 18-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man as other workers hid, Mr. Kaplan said. He fired at least 16 rounds and windows of the store were also smashed in the shootout. He then turned the gun on himself.
Authorities are investigating the motive of the shooting.
The victims were “not specifically targeted. I believe everyone in the store was a target”, Mr. Kaplan said.