A gunman has killed one and injured 12 others before shooting himself at a Kroger grocery store in an upscale Memphis, Tenn., suburb.
The shooter is believed to have been acting alone and has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the parking lot outside the store in Collierville, about 50 km outside of Memphis, police said.
Police said 12 are in hospital — one of which is in surgery and another in critical condition — and a 13th person was treated for an anxiety attack.
Police responded to reports of a shooting at 1:30 p.m. local time and officers arrived at 1:34 p.m.
Brignetta Dickerson, a Kroger employee, told local media WREG that she, other employees and customers went to the back of the store and close the door behind them, but the gunman followed.
“He kept on shooting and shooting and shooting. He shot one of my co-workers in the head and then shot one of the customers in the stomach,” Dickerson said, adding that the shooter appeared to have a military-style rifle.
“I’m a little shaky but I’m OK. I got God on my side,” Dickerson said.
“It’s horrific,” Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said. “I’ve been involved in this for 34 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Lane said a police SWAT team and other officers went aisle to aisle in the store to find people who sought cover or were in hiding, removing them to safety.
“We found people hiding in freezers, in locked offices,” he said.
Lane said it was the most horrific event in Collierville history, a growing suburb of more than 51,000 people with a median household income of around $114,000, according to U.S. census figures.
Police have not detailed a motive at this time or identified the gunman.
Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee tweeted that her office is in touch with local authorities and agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
She said she is “closely monitoring the situation.”
Kroger, a major U.S. grocery chain, offered its “thoughts, prayers and support to the individuals and families of the victims during this difficult time,” and a spokesperson said the store would be closed until further notice.
“It is an emotional roller coaster, as you can imagine,” spokesperson Teresa Dickerson told reporters. “And we, of course, have provided counseling for every associate, who’s here today, and we will continue to do that.”
Most adults 21 years old and older in Tennessee are allowed to carry handguns without first clearing a background check and training, a measure signed into law earlier this year.
The shooting is the latest in a number of workplace mass shootings in the U.S., including when a gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colo., in March, killing 10 people.
-With files from Reuters and the Associated Press