AP NEWS

Shooting in Kroger leaves 1 critical

December 20, 2018

A man was taken to a hospital in critical condition Wednesday night after he was shot in the Kroger grocery store on North Clinton Street.

Fort Wayne Police Department spokesman Mark Bieker said officers arrived about 6:30 p.m. to reports that a man was down inside the store. Officers working to secure the store determined the shooter had fled, Bieker said.

Detectives were reviewing video from cameras in the store to get a possible description of the shooter. Investigators believe this is an isolated incident and not a random act of violence, Bieker said. 

Several people inside the store told The Journal Gazette they and others took cover wherever they could when they heard the shots.

One man told The Journal Gazette he witnessed the shooting at the back of the store where meats are sold. He said a tall man, about 6-foot-3 and in his mid- to late 20s, confronted a shorter man who was a few years older. Both wore gray hooded sweatshirts. The shooter wore gray shorts and blue compression pants.

The man, who declined to give his name, heard the victim say “I’m right here. I’m in your face. What are you gonna do?”

The shooter pulled a handgun and shot him, the witness said. The victim ran by the witness down an aisle and collapsed.

“He fell right by me,” the witness said. The victim looked at the shooter and said, “Bro c’mon,” the witness said.

The witness, who had two children in the grocery cart, was afraid the shooter might shoot him too, he said.

The assailant shot the victim again and then the gun appeared to jam, the witness said. The victim was taken to a hospital in serious condition but then downgraded to critical, Bieker said.

A man and his girlfriend were grocery shopping when they heard two shots, they said. There was one shot followed by about a two-second pause and then another, the man said.

“We thought it was glass breaking,” he said. People started screaming and then they were told it was gun shots, he added. The couple said they saw the victim being carried out on a stretcher.

The girlfriend said she didn’t expect to go back to the store again, but he said he’d remain a Kroger shopper. “It’s not their fault,” he said. “I like their deals. It’s just stupid people.”

Many Kroger workers waited outside. Bieker said management would determine when the store would re-open. One man, identified as the store manager, said the company would be issuing a statement soon.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Fort Wayne Police Detective Bureau at 427-1201 or Crime Stoppers at 436-7867. 

jduffy@jg.net

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