In a Publix filled with lunchtime shoppers, a man Thursday walked into the produce section, fatally shot a woman and her young grandson, and then turned the gun on himself, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.
The agency said late Thursday it would not identify either the woman or the toddler, who would have turned 2 years old this month. It said their family had invoked its rights under a 2018 amendment to the state constitution, modeled on California’s Marsy’s Law, that allows crime victims and their families to withhold their names from public reports.
The sheriff’s office identified the gunman late Thursday as Timothy J. Wall, 55, of Royal Palm Beach. It said that as of Thursday night, there was “no known motive or relationship between the gunman and his victims.” It cautioned that its detectives still were investigating.
What we know about Royal Palm Beach shopping plaza shooting
Officials said a gun was found near Wall’s body, and they believe his injuries were self-inflicted.
Deputies said the Publix, in The Crossroads shopping plaza at Royal Palm Beach and Okeechobee boulevards, would remained closed until Saturday.
Customers can collect the items they left behind between 9 a.m. and noon Friday in front of the store, the agency said. All items have been safely bagged and a sheriff’s deputy will distribute them.
The murderous attack at the store sent panicked shoppers and workers scurrying for cover, witnesses said.
Juan Guardia said he was near the deli when chaos erupted.
“I heard, ‘They’re shooting!’ A woman Publix worker said, ‘Run! Shooting!’ ” Guardia recalled. “I was scared. It’s sad because everything happened fast. Everyone was running. Some employees were crying.”
At a news conference, sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said detectives were interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance-camera video as they tried to determine what led to the shooting, which occurred at about 11:40 a.m.
Onlookers outside the shopping plaza expressed shock at the deadly events that came on the heels of a series of mass shootings around the country and days before Saturday’s five-year anniversary of the deadly rampage at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left 50 dead.