By Shannon Stapleton
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (Reuters) -One man was killed and two other people were wounded in a midday shooting on Tuesday at a crowded grocery store in a Long Island suburb of New York City, and police have cordoned off streets around an apartment complex where they believe the suspect had entered.
The attack unfolded shortly after 11 a.m. in the second-floor manager’s office at a Stop & Shop store in West Hempstead on New York’s Long Island, said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.
The suspect, dressed in all black, was identified by police as Gabriel DeWitt Wilson, 31, of Hempstead and Long Beach, New York. He is either a current or former employee of the Stop & Shop, Ryder said.
“He did have a small handgun,” Ryder said. “We don’t know the reason for the shooting.”
As of mid-afternoon, Nassau County police and other authorities had surrounded an apartment complex in nearby Hempstead, about 25 miles east of Manhattan, according to a Reuters photographer near the scene.
The attack comes at a time when the nation is reeling from a series of mass shootings. Among them, a gunman killed eight people in three Atlanta-area spas, and 10 people including a police officer were shot and killed at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
In Tuesday’s shooting, witnesses interviewed on local media reported hearing at least six shots. Some reported to news crews that the suspect may have jumped onto a bus to escape, but police could not confirm that account.
“It’s an ongoing investigation,” Ryder said, who added that the two wounded people were alert and conscious and being treated at a local hospital.
The deceased person was only described as a 49-year-old man. It is unclear if the dead or wounded were also employees of the store.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was closely monitoring the situation and that the New York State Police have been directed to assist local authorities.
“My team and I are in constant contact with first responders on the ground,” Cuomo said. “I’m praying for the victims, and my heart breaks for their families and loved ones.”
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