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Tenn. Kroger mass shooter identified as sushi vendor, possible motives being investigated

Tennessee shooter

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    Authorities have identified the gunman that opened fire in a Tennessee grocery store as Uk Thang, a son of Myanmar refugees.

    The shooter: Thang, 29, worked at his sushi business inside the Kroger in Collierville, Tenn., a family friend, told FOX8. Collierville Police Department also confirmed the gunman worked at the grocery chain on a daily basis.

    • Thang lived on Winchester and Schilling Boulevard, while his Christian refugee parents are in Antioch, Tenn., outside of Nashville, Action News 5 reported.
    • I’m sorry to these families,” a member of the church that his parents frequented told the news network on Friday. “For me personally I’ll be praying because I’m a believer and a Christian.”
    • While speaking to Action News 5, one of Thang’s neighbors described him as a “nice guy,” adding, “I can’t say there was anything suspicious.”
    • Although Thang’s criminal record did not have any instances of violence, Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said the shooter had been arrested for misdemeanor cases in the past. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation also found no criminal record for the suspect in the state.

    What happened: Thang injured 14 people and killed one when he opened fire inside the Kroger on Thursday. He was found dead with a self-inflicted injury at the back of the store shortly after the rampage.

    • Authorities identified the victim killed as Olivia King, a longtime resident of the area, Memphis Commercial Appeal reported. Originally from San Antonio, King was widowed with three sons and did not have relatives in Collierville.
    • Police said Thang acted alone and did not appear to have any targets during the shooting. While investigators have yet to release a possible motive for Thang, an employee told News Channel 11 that he was allegedly fired the night before the shooting and that managers had to walk him out of the store. 
    • Ten employees and five customers were injured in the incident. Some of the victims remain in critical condition, Lane said at a press conference on Friday morning.
    • In a statement, the grocery chain confirmed Thang was a third-party vendor at Kroger. The company also said it will close down the Collierville store until further notice.

    Featured Image via Virginia Retail (CC BY 2.0)

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