A “known-to-known shooting” at a Walmart Super Center down in Georgia resulted in two individuals’ deaths, and police believe the matter was a murder-suicide.
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Police Say The Matter Was “Not An Active Shooter” Situation
According to FOX 5 Atlanta, the incident occurred on Wednesday (Sept. 20) at a Walmart in Hiram, Georgia — approximately 30 miles northwest of Atlanta.
Citing police chief Mike Turner, the outlet reports that the parties — who weren’t initially identified — died en route to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital.
The situation broke out around 7:30 p.m., and Turner called it a “known-to-known shooting.” He also clarified, “This was not an active shooter.”
“What it appears to be is a known-to-known shooting event where both parties knew each other. This was not an active shooter. This was one person knew another person, there was some kind of former relationship.”
After clarifying that the assailant was a man and the victim was a woman, Turner said there was no way police officers could have prevented the matter.
“This is one of those event where it’s going to happen where the two people happen to meet. We have no control over that. I mean, literally, if we would have had an officer standing over on the other side of Walmart they could have not prevented this.”
In a statement, a Walmart spokesperson said the store would “remain closed” as police investigate. The company also expressed, “We’re heartbroken by what happened at our Hiram store tonight.”
“Our priority, right now, is the safety of our associates and customers. The store will remain closed while we work with law enforcement during their investigation.”
The Assailant Is Identified As A 26-Year-Old Man Who Previously Dated The Victim
Following the initial reports, Atlanta News First noted that the parties were identified as James Norton, 26, and Zoey Messenger, 20.
It’s also reported that they had previously been in a relationship, which Messenger ended. Norton was also an employee at the store in question.
Per the publication, police say Norton appeared calm and collected while approaching Messenger at the store.
Additionally, there were no reported instances of domestic violence within their past relationship.
There are no further updates to the case at this point.
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