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Brett Elmore
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Arkansas grocery store shooting was completely random, police say


(FORDYCE, A.R.) — The shooting at an Arkansas grocery store on Friday was “a completely random, senseless act,” Arkansas State Police Col. Mike Hagar said in a press conference Sunday.

Police have not determined a motive for the attack at the Mad Butcher grocery store in Fordyce that killed four people and wounded 10 others, Hagar said, noting that they have found no connection between the suspect and any of the victims or the store.

The four people killed were identified as 23-year-old Callie Weems, 50-year-old Roy Sturgis, 62-year-old Shirley Taylor and 81-year-old Ellen Shrum.

The suspect, identified as 44-year-old Travis Eugene Posey, was shot by officers at the scene and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Posey is believed to have opened fire in the parking lot “immediately” upon exiting his vehicle, then entered the store where he continued his rampage.

“He simply started engaging victims indiscriminately, just as targets of opportunity,” Hagar said.

Hagar said the suspect had “very limited” previous criminal history, or possibly none at all.

Posey faces three capital murder charges and is currently being held at Ouachita County Detention Center, according to Hagar.

He could face the death penalty, Hagar said.

One of the victims, Weems, a nurse, died while attempting to treat another victim, Hagar said.

“During the incident, we observed the very best and the very worst of humanity,” he said. “As an example, instead of fleeing from the obvious danger, Callie Weems began using her training as a nurse to render aid to a gunshot victim and, unfortunately, became a victim herself as a result of her selfless actions.”

Hagar thanked the police officers who responded to the incident, who he said neutralized the suspect within five minutes of the shooting beginning.

“These officers literally and intentionally put themselves between the suspect and defenseless citizens,” he said. “Their actions were nothing short of heroic.”

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