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'God needed her in heaven more than we needed her on earth,' Olivia King, Kroger shooting victim, remembered as kind and selfless

Olivia King, 70, was a mother of three, a grandmother, and a widow.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Olivia King has been identified as one of the victims of Thursday's shooting at the Kroger in Collierville, Tenn.

King was a mother of three, a grandmother, and a widow. She is being remembered as sweet, kind, and selfless. King was dedicated to the Collierville School District. The District's Superintendent said she first started as an assistant librarian for crosswind elementary then was later hired as a parent assistant. In 2004, she worked as a financial secretary for Collierville Elementary School before she retired in 2010. 

Maureen Fraser, the Vice Mayor of Collierville said she had been friends with Olivia since they both moved to town in the 90s. They both had a passion for education so their friendship started within the Collierville School District.

"She is a sweet, sweet, lady," Fraser said. "As I was volunteering at Collierville Elementary school she (Olivia King) came over as the financial secretary. So we worked well together through that and fundraising when I was PTA president and we just remained friends.”

Fraser said their friendship grew when Olivia lost her husband 16 years ago. Fraser said she learned Olivia had been shot by one of Oliva's sons.

"He called me to say his brother gotten a call from his mom's cell phone," Fraser said. "He got this phone call from someone, a complete stranger and this person said, 'It was man, I'm with your mom, your mom's been shot at Kroger she's breathing and they are taking her down to regional one medical center."

King was a devoted Catholic. She and Fraser was a member of the Catholic Church of the Incarnation in Collierville. Fraser said attended mass almost every day and attended mass Thursday morning just hours before she decided to go shopping at Kroger. Her son said she was shot in the chest and taken to Regional One hospital Thursday afternoon where she later died.

"She will be missed. She really will be missed by so many," Fraser said. "God needed her in heaven more than we needed her on earth."

ABC 24 Memphis Brittni Clemons spoke with one of her sons Friday afternoon. He drove in from Ohio and is currently staying at his mother's home. He said he is waiting for the rest of the family to come into town before they decide to speak on camera. Right now he asks for privacy during this tough time.

"Our family is devastated by this senseless act of violence. We ask that you pray for the repose of the soul of our mother, Olivia. We also ask everyone for their prayers for all families and friends affected by the events today, as well as for God's mercy on the shooter and his family. Thank you," said her son Wes King. "She was shopping. My mother was 70. We believe that she had gone to daily Mass this morning and then simply went to the store at some point." 

UPDATE: Dear friends, it is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that my mother has died to her wounds. I spoke...

Posted by Wes King on Thursday, September 23, 2021

Collierville Police, Memphis, Police, and Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies all responded to the scene of the shooting, which happened about 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the store at 240 New Byhalia Road.

Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane called the scene "horrific" and one of the worst he's seen.

Twelve other people were injured in the shooting, according to police. The suspected gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

A Collierville Police source said the shooter had been fired from that same store Thursday morning.

 "We are saddened as you can imagine, it has been an emotional roller coaster," Kroger spokesperson Teresa Dickerson said.

The store will remain closed as authorities investigate the shooting, Kroger said in a statement. Counseling will be made available to employees. 

Police have not identified the shooter or any other victims.

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