Two Walmart employees were killed by a disgruntled co-worker, police said. The shooting occurred around 6:30 a.m. in the town of Southaven, Miss., a suburb of Memphis, Tenn.
About 60 employees were inside the store when the shooting occurred, according to news reports. One victim was inside the store, the second victim was in the parking lot.
A police officer responding to the scene was shot but saved by his bullet-resistant vest. A second officer shot and injured the suspect, who police have identified as Martez Tarrell Abram, 39, of Southaven. Abram is a longtime Walmart associate. He now faces two murder charges, police said.
Walmart expressed its condolences for the victims, their families and the community and said it was working with local law enforcement. City officials said the suspect had been suspended from work. He was angry with a manager, and a few days earlier had shown another employee a knife he brought to work.
“The entire Walmart family is heartbroken by the loss of two valued members of our team,” said Greg Foran, president and CEO, Walmart U.S. “We feel tragedies like this personally, and our hearts go out to the families of our two associates and the officer who was injured.
“We are relieved the suspect was apprehended, and we appreciate the quick response of the local authorities and our associates. We’ll continue to focus on assisting law enforcement in their investigation and on supporting our associates.”
The shootings are the latest workplace-related violence this year. On May 31, 12 people were killed in Virginia Beach when a city employee opened fire in a municipal building. In February, five employees, including an HR manager and HR intern, were killed in a workplace shooting. SHRM Online has collected articles and resources on this topic from its archive and other respected sources.