On June 10, 2021, a man opened fire inside a southeast Florida supermarket, killing a woman and a child before killing himself, according to authorities.
As of this writing, the incident at a Publix store remained under investigation. The identities of the gunman and victims remained unknown, as well as the circumstances under which he opened fire. Here’s what was known about the incident:
Shortly after 12:30 p.m. (EDT), the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, which provides law enforcement for the area, tweeted:
Around the same time, the department said in a Facebook post that its “Violent Crimes Division” was at the Publix in Royal Palm Beach (a middle-class suburb of roughly 40,000 people within Palm Beach County), and “in the beginning stages of determining what led up to the shooting.”
Soon after that, various news outlet recirculated the gist of the sheriff’s office’s social media posts — that a gunman stormed the supermarket, killing himself, a woman, and a child.
Next, reporters flocked to the scene of the shooting, where USA TODAY reported:
While a handful of Publix employees were allowed to leave the store, it appeared most workers and some customers were being kept inside to be interviewed by deputies.
Law enforcement officials were checking license tags on cars in the parking lot. People were not being allowed to move their vehicles.
One witness told reporters he saw armed sheriff’s deputies wearing helmets and bulletproof vests soon after the gunfire.
Shortly later, Teri Barbera, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, gave a news conference in the supermarket’s parking lot. She said it was possible the victims knew each other, and emphasized that detectives’ work to understand the gunman’s motives was ongoing, according to video footage obtained by The Palm Beach Post.
“We’re talking to witnesses, we’re reviewing [surveillance] video,” she said.
No further details about the investigation were immediately available, including the exact ages of the victims. County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who represents the area, said in a statement (a screenshot of which is below) she was told the child was a toddler, though no other evidence corroborated that detail.
Meanwhile, Juan Guardia told The Palm Beach Post he was in the deli area when the shooting happened nearby. “I heard, ‘They’re shooting!’ A woman Publix worker said, ‘Run! Shooting!’” Guardia said. “I was scared. It’s sad because everything happened fast. Everyone was running, some employees were crying.”
Publix, in a statement to news reporters, said, “Our thoughts are with those who are impacted by this tragedy.” The company said it is cooperating with law enforcement but declined further comment.
Publix is Florida’s largest grocery chain and has more than 1,200 stores in the Southern United States, according to The Associated Press.