Florida Publix shooting kills 3, including child, investigators say; suspect among the dead
One of the victims reported to be a child
Three people were killed, including a one-year-old child, during a shooting at a Florida Publix grocery store early Thursday afternoon, according to local officials.
At least one suspect opened fire at a Royal Palm Beach Publix grocery store, killing one child and two adults, a man and a woman, according to the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office (PBSO). The suspected shooter was among the fatalities.
Deputies responded to the store around 11:40 a.m. FOX-affiliate, WVSN-TV reported. The victims were found in the produce section of the market and pronounced dead.
"When I was buying the chicken in the deli aisle, I hear the shots, and then I run," shopper Juan Guardia told the news outlet.
Guardia said he ran to the back of the store with employees.
The woman and child killed were identified as a grandmother and grandson, Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Teri Barbera told Fox News. The child would have turned 2-years-old at the end of the month, Barbera said.
Authorities are still trying to identify the man and determine his relationship with the victims, officials said.
A representative from PBSO's Violent Crimes Division told local affiliate FOX 10 News: "Detectives are in the beginning stages of determining what led up to the shooting."
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Joey Mendoza, a 62-year-old Royal Palm Beach resident, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel he had just arrived at the store, and was still in his car in the parking lot, when he spotted officers wearing tactical gear hurrying inside.
"A couple of minutes later, I would’ve been in there," he told the news outlet. "That’s what I’m thinking. Two, three minutes later, usually, because I parked right in the front. At that point, I didn’t bother getting out. I saw them running in, I didn’t get out of the vehicle. ... They just kept coming. Cruiser after cruiser, ambulance after ambulance, fire truck after fire truck."
Additional details, such as whether anyone else was injured, were not immediately available.
In a statement provided to Fox News, a Publix spokesperson referred all questions about the shooting to the sheriff's office.
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"Our thoughts are with those who are impacted by this tragedy," the spokesperson said. "We are cooperating with the local law enforcement."
Royal Palm Beach, which is home to approximately 40,000 people, is about 50 miles from Fort Lauderdale, and just over 30 miles from Boca Raton.
Fox News' Louis Casiano contributed to this report.