Southaven community begins healing process, one day after deadly Walmart shooting

Local In MS

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (localmemphis.com) – A suspect is charged and an injured Southaven Police officer is recovering. But with two fathers killed at work, the Mississippi community is far from healed, one day after a deadly shooting at a Walmart there.

Tuesday morning, Walmart managers Brandon Gales and Anthony Brown were killed. Investigators said 39-year-old Martez Abram, a recently-suspended Walmart worker, pulled the trigger and set a fire inside the store.

Police said Abram was shot after shooting and injuring a Southaven Police officer, who was wearing a bulletproof vest. That officer has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

A sign outside the Walmart Wednesday said the store is closed until further notice. The normally bustling parking lot is eerily quiet, as emotions remain high and the community remains vigilant.

Wednesday, Local 24 News noticed flowers next to crime tape, one day after dozens of workers and customers witnessed and escaped an active shooter situation.

“How could they come back a day later?” Walmart vendor Ken Salmon said.

Salmon came by the store but wasn’t allowed in as crews clean up and investigators barricade the parking lot. Salmon said he knew shooting victim Brandon Gales well.

“Just super nice, everybody loved BG,” Salmon said.

Across town Wednesday, the Southaven Chamber of Commerce held an active shooter seminar with Southaven Police.

The event, scheduled before Tuesday’s deadly shooting, wasn’t open to journalists but we caught up with one attendee beforehand.

“After what happened yesterday, it really hits home,” one man told Local 24 News.

On a day where hugs and consoling were abundant outside the store, others in Southaven sent their condolences to the families of Gales and Brown.

“To think you could just lose your life or be involved in something like that, it’s terrible,” Margarett Pirtle said.

“Southaven is full of employment and for him to take that course, to ruin three lives, including himself, it’s just a tragic thing,” Mary Miller said.

Wednesday, Local 24 News emailed a Walmart spokesperson several follow up questions, but we’ve yet to hear back.

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