Stop & Shop 'shocked and heartbroken' by Long Island grocery store shooting

A suspect has been apprehended and taken into custody, according to Nassau County Police.

Stop & Shop says it is "shocked and heartbroken" by a shooting that occurred at one of its Long Island store locations on 50 Cherry Valley road in West Hempstead that has killed at least one person and left two others wounded.  


Around noon, the Nassau County Police Department tweeted that officers were responding to an active shooter situation at the store. Police urged nearby schools to lock down and secure their buildings and for area residents to remain indoors. 

West Hempstead Union Free School District said in a Facebook post it was locking down and would inform parents and the community when the lockdown was over. The school noted that everyone in the building is safe and for residents to avoid the area until further notice. 

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder later confirmed that three people had been shot inside the Stop & Shop, two of which who were wounded and had been transported to a local hospital for treatment, and one who had been pronounced dead. 


Gabriel DeWitt Wilson, 31, was identified by authorities as the person of interest in connection with the incident. He was taken into custody at around 3:15 p.m. at an apartment building roughly 2 miles from the grocery store.

Wilson, a shopping cart wrangler at the store, went to the offices immediately after arriving for work at around 11 a.m., wounding a man and a woman in one room before going down the hall and killing a 49-year-old store manager, Ryder said. 

Ryder added that a "couple hundred" shoppers were inside the store when the shooting broke out. The names of the victims have not been made public and a motive for the attack has not been disclosed. 

Wilson has a criminal record and had been taken into custody previously in Nassau County for a mental health evaluation, Ryder said. 

Wilson was involved in a shooting in Baltimore in 2014, records show. Police said Wilson and another man fired shots at each other and were hospitalized with lower body wounds. Attempted murder charges against Wilson in that case were later dropped, records show. 


West Hempstead is near the New York City-Nassau County border and about 30 miles east of midtown Manhattan. Stop & Shop is a grocery chain in the northeastern U.S. owned by the Dutch company Ahold Delhaize.

Stop & Shop president Gordon Reid said in a statement Tuesday that the store will remain closed until further notice. 

"Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, our associates, customers and the first responders who have responded heroically to this tragic situation," Reid said. "At this time, we are cooperating fully with local law enforcement on the investigation."

"We appreciate the Long Island community's support during this difficult time," he added.

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The Stop & Shop shooting is the latest in a string of recent gun violence, coming just days after an incident at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis that left at least eight people dead and several others injured. 

In March, 10 people were killed, including a veteran police officer, during a mass shooting inside King Scoopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. The suspect, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for the incident. Additional attempted murder charges are expected to be filed against Alissa.

Also in March, 22-year-old Rico Marley was arrested after walking into a Publix Super Market in Atlanta with five guns and body armor. Marley has been charged with reckless conduct, five counts of criminal attempt to commit a felony and six counts of possession of a firearm or knife during commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies.