By Cassandra Fairbanks
A person is dead and another two are injured after a dispute about the mask policy at a Georgia grocery store turned deadly on Monday.
A deputy that was at the scene exchanged fire with the shooter and both men were injured.
The incident took place at Big Bear Grocery in DeKalb County, Georgia around 1:10 p.m., according to a statement from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
According to the department, Victor Lee Tucker Jr., 30, got into an argument with a cashier about masks as he was checking out. He ended up leaving the store without his items, but immediately returned and shot the cashier.
“Tucker left the store without making his purchase, but immediately returned inside,” the statement explains. “Tucker walked directly back to the cashier, pulled out a handgun and shot her. Tucker then began shooting at a DKSO deputy who was attempting to intervene while working off-duty at the supermarket. The deputy and Tucker exchanged gunfire, and both were wounded during the shootout. Two responding DeKalb County Police Department (DKPD) officers arrested Tucker as he was attempting to crawl out the front door of the supermarket.”
The deputy, whose name has not yet been released, had served 30 years on the force before retiring and taking part time employment doing security for the store. Local station ABC13 reports that he was hit twice by gunfire, but was wearing a bulletproof vest.
A second cashier was also grazed by a bullet and treated at the scene.
DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said during a press conference that the deputy’s actions may have prevented more people from being hurt.
“That is what he is trained to do,” Maddox said.
The cashier who was targeted by the shooter was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Tucker was taken to the same hospital as his victim and is currently listed in stable condition.
The deputy is currently being treated at Atlanta Medical Center and is also reported to be in stable condition.
The DeKalb County Police Department will be handling the arrest warrants for Tucker. His charges have not yet been released.
“The DKPD will be taking arrest warrants for Tucker. The GBI will continue its independent investigation. Once completed, it will be turned over to the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office for review,” the Georgia Bureau of Investigation statement concludes.
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