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A grandmother and her soon-to-be-two-year-old grandson were shot to death by a man who shot them at a Florida supermarket and then took his own life as shoppers ran in panic at noon on Thursday.
Authorities in Palm Beach County, north of Miami released on Thursday night some more details of the shooting, including the name of the assailant, Timothy J. Wall, 55, but not the identities of the victims or the motives for the crime.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that “there was no known motive or relationship between the attacker and his victims,” but that they are still investigating.
It detailed that the weapon was found near Wall’s body and that they believe his wounds were self-inflicted.
The incident occurred around noon on Thursday, when a crowd of shoppers was at a Publix supermarket around lunchtime in Royal Palm Beach, north of Miami.
Officers arrived at the supermarket and found the three people dead from gunshot wounds, said Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.
Barbera initially clarified that this was “not” an “active” aggressor to calm the community that fears indiscriminate mass attacks.
“This is a long process,” Barbera said of the investigation.
Juan Guardia, a customer who was in the supermarket, described the terrifying moments he experienced to the Palm Beach Post.
“I heard ‘They’re shooting. A Publix worker said ‘Run! Shooting!,” he recalled.
“I was scared. It’s sad because it all happened fast. Everyone was running. Some employees were crying,” he said.
Barbera said the names of the grandmother and child would not be released because their families invoked Marsy’s Law on Privacy, which prevents disclosure of these types of victims.
Detectives from the Violent Crimes Division had been at the crime scene at the supermarket, which is still closed to the public, since Thursday and were interviewing witnesses and looking at camera footage to begin the investigation.
Authorities have also taken into custody items left behind by shoppers who fled the crime scene at the Publix supermarket.