Kroger Employees Recount Their Escape From Shooting

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‘I have never seen so many police cars’: Eyewitnesses recount their escape.

A Kroger employee outside the store in Collierville, Tenn., where 13 people were shot on Thursday.Credit…Houston Cofield for The New York Times

Sept. 23, 2021, 6:06 p.m. ET

Brignetta Dickerson knew the popping sound she heard on Thursday inside the Kroger grocery store where she worked was a gunshot, as she yelled at customers to “Go! Go! Go!”

As they ran to the back of the store in Collierville, Tenn., a Memphis suburb, the sounds followed, Ms. Dickerson told Region 8 News, a television station in the area.

“I heard him come to the back,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh crap. Oh crap. Oh crap.'”

They watched, she said, as the gunman shot one of her co-workers in the head and a customer in the stomach. At least 13 people were injured, one fatally, in the shooting, and the police said the gunman had died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Glenda McDonald, who works in the store’s floral department, said she thought she saw the gunman fire at a bagger and some customers as she escaped the building.

“I just ran out the door,” Ms. McDonald told The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I left my purse, my keys, everything.”

The chaos continued outside of the store as authorities responded to 911 calls.

“I have never seen so many police cars, in one place, in my life,” Bruce Pates, 73, said.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Pates had entered a tire shop across the street from Kroger. By the time he came out two hours later, there was a flurry of activity outside.

He watched as fire trucks and ambulances left the scene, only to be replaced seconds later with others. Rows of police cars filed into the parking lot.

Manny Reis, 49, was driving to Kroger when he saw a fleet of police cars rushing to the store. He ended up near the back of the building and saw someone who was injured.

“Somebody was sitting down without their shirt on,” he said. “The Fire Department showed up and basically grabbed that person and carried that person away.”

Although Ms. Dickerson is safe, she said she still felt numb.

“I’m OK, I’m OK,” she said. “I’ve been through everything, but this right here took the cake.”

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