Home » Suspected gunman nabbed in Long Island Stop & Shop shooting that killed colleague and wounded two others

Suspected gunman nabbed in Long Island Stop & Shop shooting that killed colleague and wounded two others


A suspected gunman who killed a colleague and shot two other workers in a Long Island supermarket Tuesday was taken into custody hours after the chaotic shooting following an intense manhunt during which area schools were locked down.

The suspect, Gabriel Dewitt Wilson — who collected carts at the Stop & Shop on Cherry Valley Road in West Hempstead — was arrested after a SWAT team descended on a nearby home along Terrace Avenue, according to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

Cops said Wilson stormed a second-floor office in the store shortly after 11 a.m. and shot a man and a woman who worked in the supermarket.

Then he moved on to a second office and used a small handgun to shoot and kill the 49-year-old manager before fleeing in the chaos, said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.

Police, responding to dozens of 911 calls both in and outside the supermarket, led shoppers to safety and immediately locked down area schools, Ryder said. About four hours later, Wilson was in custody without further bloodshed as residents and workers breathed a collective sigh of relief.

“Too often we talk about active shooters around the country,” Ryder said at a news conference after the arrest. “Today it’s in our backyard.”

Ryder said he did not know the shooter’s motive. He said Wilson, 31, showed up for work and went straight to the second floor offices and opened fire as scores of people shopped below.

The manager died at the scene. The two wounded victims were taken to area hospitals.

Nassau County Police investigate the scene of a shooting at a Stop & Shop supermarket on April 20, 2021 in West Heampstead, N.Y.

“Everybody seemed to start running out of the store, panicked and frantic,” Liz Crew-Lee told NBC 4.

More than 150 officers searched for Wilson, officials said. State police assisted in the search, Gov. Cuomo said.

“I’m praying for the victims, and my heart breaks for their families and loved ones,” Cuomo said.

Nassau County Police investigate the scene of a shooting at a Stop & Shop supermarket on April 20, 2021 in West Heampstead, N.Y.

“Make no mistake about it,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “The Senate will move forward with legislation to stop the epidemic of gun violence.”

All area schools were put on lockdown.

This aerial photo provided by WABC shows police responding to the scene of a shooting at a Stop & Shop supermarket in West Hempstead, N.Y., on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

The West Hempstead School District put itself in a “lockout mode” until the gunman was apprehended.

“We were informed by the police that there is activity in the area,” the school district said on Twitter. “We are presently in a lockout and we’ll inform you when it is over. Please do not come to the buildings. Everyone is safe.”

Wilson’s friend Kimberly Castro, 22, said she remembered the father of two when he wase a jokester.


Castro said she and Wilson laughed a lot together and listened to rap music when he had breaks from his job working at a Stop & Shop in Long Beach. But Castro said Wilson struggled after he was himself shot 10 years ago.

“He got shot in the head. It changed him,” Castro said. “His sensory got messed up.

“It would change anyone. I think it created depression, anxiety, and it just got the best of him. He was always loud. That never went away. He loved to laugh. He was nice, but anger just got the best of him. It probably started with the shooting.”

Castro said Wilson’s appearance troubled him.

“You could see it, it looked like a piece of his head was missing,” Castro said. “It never stopped him though from going to work or taking care of his kids.”

Castro said the grocery store shooting left her sad and confused.

“Sometimes, progress isn’t a light switch,” Castro said. “It takes time. He was always mad that people would look at him differently, because he got shot in the head. Sometimes good people just do bad things. It doesn’t make us bad people. Just mistakes. Sometimes good people snap.”

Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid said he and his colleagues were “shocked and heartbroken by this act of violence.”

The president of the the store workers’ union said counselors were on site to help employees, many of whom were already stressed out as essential workers during the pandemic.

“We are devastated,” said John Durso, president of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW.

“Our thoughts are with the victims, their loved ones, and all those, including workers and customers, who witnessed today’s horrifying events,” Durso said.

Another union representative, Carolina Martinez, said workers were in shock.

“They are very nervous,” Martinez said. “They don’t understand how this can happen in a place where they work. We are also trying to figure out, working together with Stop & Shop, how we can prevent this from happening in the future.”

A customer who shops regularly at the West Hempstead store said she did not hear the shots but saw the commotion.

“Policemen were saying, ‘Get out! Get out!’” the customer said, “I had to leave the basket and walked out in the parking lot and then we had to walk across the street. It’s frightening. You’re not safe anywhere.”

Julianna Sellick, 23, said she was waiting in the parking lot for her boyfriend who works inside the store when she saw customers and workers sprinting out of the supermarket.

“Everybody was coming pretty quickly out of the building, running to their cars and hopping into their cars and driving away,” Sellick said. “I was like, ‘Wow, why is everybody moving so quickly?’”

“Then I saw the amount of cop cars and police units and SWAT teams and undercover cop cars that just kept coming,” she added. “I was like, ‘Something’s got to be going on.’ It was really scary.”

Source (Ny Daily news)

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