Store Shooting Leaves 3 Dead, 11 Injured

24 Jun, 2024 Liz Carey

                               

Fordyce, AR (WorkersCompensation.com) – Another workplace mass shooting has taken the lives of three people and injured 11 more including the shooter, officials said Friday.

Arkansas State Police said 44-year-old Travis Posey of New Edinburg, Ark., was taken into custody after opening fire at the Mad Butcher grocery store in Fordyce, Ark. The store is the town’s only grocery store and was filled with shoppers on Friday, June 21, when the shooting happened.

Officials said around 11:30 a.m., Posey was seen opening fire on the store from the parking lot. Video appears to show Posey firing at vehicles in the parking lot. Photos from the scene also show windows at the front of the store peppered with bullet holes. It’s unclear if any of the victims were employees.

Matt Gill, a meat cutter at the store, told NBC News that he was in the back of the store when gunfire rang out and glass shattering. He led shoppers and co-workers to safety.

“He came in and started shooting,” Gill told media outlets. “We made it out the back door. I had to get out of there. I have a wife and kids at home.”

Shopper Katrina Doherty said she and others, followed some of the store’s workers, and hid in a freezer.

“We ran in there really fast. We still heard gunshots keep going off,” Doherty told CNN. “It was like slow motion. My daughter was like ‘Mama, pinch me, this can’t be real.’ And I was like, ’Baby, it’s real.’”

Doherty said one of the workers opened the freezer door at one point, and saw a victim dead right outside of the door. The workers closed the door and urged everyone to stay inside until they heard the police. The shoppers and employees were escorted out of the store by law enforcement, Doherty said.

The grocery store said in a statement on Saturday that it was “shocked and deeply saddened over the senseless act of violence.”

“Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all those affected” the store said in a Facebook post. “We’re truly grateful to our local law enforcement and first responders who arrived on the scene to secure the area and apprehend the suspect. Their swift and courageous actions helped prevent further harm. We can’t thank them enough for their dedication and service.”

The store said it will be closed as the investigation into the shooting continues, but that its employees will continue to be paid.

Two police officers were injured in the shooting. Posey was also wounded in a shootout with the police. The injuries to the officers and the suspect are not life-threatening, officials said.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she is in contact with law enforcement about the shooting. Fordyce is a small city about 70 miles south of Little Rock, and had a population of under 3,400 in 2020. Sanders credited a quick response by law enforcement for saving lives.

Fordyce City Council Member Roderick Rogers told CNN that he was on the phone with someone in the store when the shooting took place. Rogers said he spoke with survivors of the shooting and that they are “traumatized.”

“We are trying to get some counseling and everything set up at the moment,” he said.

Officials on Saturday night said it was unclear as to Posey’s motive for opening fire.

"We will never understand why this happens," Dallas County Sheriff Mike Knoedl said. "To the families of the victims, my heartfelt prayers and utmost sorrows are extended. I ask that all of you pray for them as they navigate this extremely difficult time."

Nearby law enforcement offered their support as well.

The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post that it is praying for the community as they take steps to recover.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families affected by today’s tragedy." the office posted. "We are heartbroken for the town of Fordyce and the Dallas County Community."

Posey is facing three counts of capital murder, the Ouachita County Sheriff's office said.

He does not currently have a bond or a court date set, the records show.


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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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