Grocery stores again proved vulnerable to violence this week. In Pensacola, Florida, a not immediately identified man with a handgun entered a Grocery Advantage store this past Thursday afternoon and began firing at shoppers. Escambia County police officers quickly arrived on the scene, and when the suspect began approaching them with the gun, they shot him. At that point, his threat was neutralized, and he was taken to the hospital for treatment for multiple gunshot wounds. No one else was injured in the attack. Like the absence of a publicly identified name, there’s no apparent word as to the shooter’s motive for attacking the store.
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan shared in a widely distributed statement:
‘As the Sheriff, I know I speak not only for the Sheriff’s Office but all citizens of Escambia County, in thanking the fine men and women of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office for their professionalism and courage which is displayed every day but especially today in stopping this suspect.’
Active Shooter Thwarted At 2:42 pm, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance at the Grocery…
Local Lee Gainey, who was at work across the street from the attacked grocery store when the suspect was inside, spoke about the incident to local media. He shared:
‘People came out screaming and saying there was a shooter. They were all running out… It was fast. It seemed like only 30 seconds after I saw the four cashiers running, the police were everywhere.’
Although there’s no apparent public word yet as to the shooter’s motive, the parking lot of the store he attacked remained blocked off with crime scene tape hours after the incident, according to that same local media source.
Although there were no injuries other than those the shooter sustained in this incident, there could have easily been a dramatic escalation. Central Florida itself recently saw the arrest of a white supremacist who’d posted a threat to attack a local Walmart just days after another white supremacist stormed one in the immigrant community of El Paso, Texas, where he killed 22 people and wounded many more.
Besides those variables — what if this Pensacola shooter had some other kind of weapon? In a Dayton, Ohio, mass shooting that unfolded just hours after that El Paso incident, the attacker killed 9 people and wounded others in just 32 seconds, in which time he reportedly fired a full 41 shots. The weapons that made that attack possible are generally widely accessible, despite some pushes to ban high-capacity rifles and similar items.
So far this year, a full 9,239 people have died in incidents of gun violence other than suicide in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive. A full 18,415 people have been injured, and 420 of those killed or injured were 11 years old or younger. The more than 35,000 documented gun violence incidents that have sparked these fatalities have included 261 mass shootings.
In recent times in America, these mass shootings have unfolded everywhere from grocery stores to churches to bars to music festivals. Americans have been left on edge or in mourning over the growing numbers of people killed. Yet, at present, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refuses to even cut the Senate August recess short so members can come back to D.C. and get something done like universal background checks for gun purchases, which a majority of Americans support implementing.
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