On Wednesday, September 20, a former couple, named as Zoey Nicole Messenger, 20, and James Wyatt Nicholas Norton, 26, both of Hiram, died in an apparent murder-suicide in a Georgia Walmart.The shooting occurred about 7.30 p.m., sending panicked customers fleeing for their lives in a Walmart Super Center in Hiram, a tiny town about 20 miles northwest of Atlanta.
According to the Daily Mail, the couple previously dated, but Messenger stopped the relationship.
According to the report, Norton worked at Walmart and Messenger formerly worked there.
However, it remains to be known if she had worked in the Hiram store where the shooting took place.
“What it appears to be is a known-to-known shooting event where both parties knew each other,” Hiram Police Chief Mike Turner said.
He added, “This was not an active shooter. This was one person knew another person, there was some kind of former relationship.”
Who opened the fire first?
The investigators determined that the man shot his ex-girlfriend first and then killed himself.
Norton walked up to Messenger in one of the store’s aisles after 7 pm and the former couple began to talk.
The police said that the conversation didn’t appear resentful and both appeared to be calm when suddenly Norton pulled the gun out and shot messenger first and then himself.
Even though no one was injured in the incident, customers in the business were horrified when it occurred.
“I heard the gunshot come from my left side, so I ran to the right exit,” shopper Devani Lopez told Fox 5.
He added, “I ran straight for my car to see everyone running like for their lives – everyone was so panicked and scared.”
Turner also explained the shock and fear it instilled into the shoppers. “You can imagine, in there shopping picking up stuff for your family, when shots rang out,” he said, as per Fox5.
She added, “Not only for the victim herself, but also the other people in there, the fear that had to be instilled by this type of event.”
Walmart said it was “heartbroken” by the shooting at the Hiram store.
“Our priority, right now, is the safety of our associates and customers,” the statement from the Walmart to various outlets read.
“The store will remain closed while we work with law enforcement during their investigation,’ it added.