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More than a dozen victims, 1 killed in shooting at Collierville Kroger; shooter dead

Police chief calls it the ‘most horrific event in Collierville history’
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 2:02 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2021 at 3:18 PM CDT
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COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - More than a dozen people were shot at a Kroger grocery store in Collierville, Tennessee Thursday.

“It’s with a broken heart that I have to stand here before you today,” said Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane.

He gave his first update about two hours after the shooting, saying 12 victims were taken from the grocery store to nearby hospitals and one of those victims died. A 13th victim arrived by private vehicle, he said, adding that it was preliminary information and additional victims may be added to the total.

Within hours of the shooting, area hospitals reported treating at least 15 victims.

  • Regional One Hospital -- 8 patients with 4 in critical condition
  • Methodist University Hospital -- 2 patients: one rushed into surgery, the other stable
  • Baptist Memphis -- 2 patients in good condition
  • Baptist Collierville -- 1 patient now discharged
  • Saint Francis Hospital -- 1 patient in unknown condition

Police have not identified any of the victims.

Lane said the shooter is also dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The person’s identity has not been released and the chief would not confirm whether the shooter was an employee.

A current employee who was not working Thursday said one of his co-workers recognized the shooter as a Kroger employee. A family member of another employee also told Action News 5 the shooter was a Kroger employee.

Lane would also not say where the shooter’s body was found.

PHOTO: Mass shooting at Collierville Kroger

The shooter’s car remained in the parking lot hours later while the bomb squad carefully searched it for any possible booby traps.

According to Lane, the active shooting situation was reported at 1:30 p.m. and law enforcement was on the scene within four minutes. When officers entered they immediately spotted several victims. Listen to the scanner traffic from Broadcastify here.

Lane said officers found some people hiding in freezers and others in offices. One employee was rescued from the roof of the building.

One cashier who spoke with Action News 5 said the shooter followed people as they ran for cover and shot both employees and customers.

The police chief said the victims suffered very serious injuries and said he’s never seen anything like this in his three decades in law enforcement.

Lane said this is the “most horrific event in Collierville history.”

As of late Thursday, investigators were still working to make sure no one else was involved, but Lane said first-hand witnesses pointed to just one shooter. The chief said police are serving search warrants at different locations.

The next briefing is expected Friday morning.

Kroger is at Poplar and Byhalia Road, not far from Collierville High School near Shelby Drive and Byhalia Road.

The district sent an alert to parents early Thursday afternoon about an off-campus active shooting near the high school. Students sheltered in place until police secured the scene, according to a second alert.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and Memphis Police Department are assisting Collierville police.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also involved in the investigation.

Kroger released a statement Thursday in response to the shooting, offering condolences to the victims and their families: “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.” Read the company’s complete statement here.

Speaking at a news conference Thursday evening, Kroger spokeswoman Teresa Dickerson said the company is providing counseling for its employees and the store will remain closed indefinitely.

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