Decatur, GA – A cashier was killed and a DeKalb County sheriff’s deputy was wounded on Monday when a man opened fire after an argument about wearing a mask in a grocery store.
The incident occurred at about 1:10 p.m. on June 14 in the Big Bear supermarket located across from the South DeKalb Mall off Candler Road, WXIA reported.
DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said the argument began when a cashier at the store asked 30-year-old Victor Lee Tucker Jr. to wear a mask.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said Tucker argued with the cashier and then left the store without making a purchase, WXIA reported.
Alan Williams, a witness who was in the checkout line when the shootings occurred, said that Tucker returned right away with a gun.
Williams said Tucker struck the cashier with his gun and then shot her, WXIA reported.
“There was some confrontation, argument – I’m not sure exactly what – in reference to the wearing of masks, at which time the subject pulled out a weapon and shot the cashier,” Sheriff Maddox told reporters, WTVD reported.
A 30-year veteran of the DeKalb County Police Department who now works as a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Unit deputy was working a part-time security job at the store when the shooting started.
Sheriff Maddox said the deputy pulled out his weapon and attempted to intervene and was shot by Tucker, WXIA reported.
The sheriff said the deputy opened fire on Tucker and put an end to the gunfight.
GBI said that Tucker was trying to crawl out of the store when law enforcement officers began arriving on the scene, WXIA reported.
The wounded cashier and the gunman were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.
Sheriff Maddox said the cashier was pronounced dead at the hospital, WXIA reported.
The victim’s name has not yet been released to the public.
The deputy sustained two gunshot wounds and was transported to Atlanta Medical Center.
The sheriff said the deputy had been wearing a bullet-proof vest and was in stable condition, WXIA reported.
She has not identified the wounded hero by name.
But Sheriff Maddox praised his bravery and said his response kept others from being shot, WTVD reported.
“That is what he is trained to do,” the sheriff said.
Tucker was also listed in stable condition at the hospital, according to GBI.
Another cashier was grazed by a bullet during the gunfight, but officials said she was treated for her injury at the scene, WXIA reported.
GBI and the DeKalb County Police Department were investigating the incident.
The findings of their investigation will be turned over to the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office for review and charging, WXIA reported.