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3 dead in shooting at Publix supermarket in Florida

Law enforcement officers secured the area surrounding a Publix grocery store in Royal Palm Beach.
Law enforcement officers secured the area surrounding a Publix grocery store in Royal Palm Beach.Saul Martinez/NYT

A gunman fatally shot a toddler and his grandmother before fatally shooting himself inside a Publix grocery store in Palm Beach County, Florida, on Thursday morning, authorities said.

Deputies from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office found their bodies near the produce section when they entered the store, in Royal Palm Beach, just before 11:40 a.m., a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said.

The names of the victims and the gunman were not immediately released.

The child, a boy, would have turned 2 later this month, the spokesperson, Teri Barbera, said.

“We don’t have any idea who the male is at this time,” Barbera said, referring to the gunman. Later Thursday, authorities said there was no known relationship between the gunman and the two victims. A motive for the shooting still had not been determined.


Investigators were reviewing security video from the store and talking to witnesses, she said.

“What we are doing now is documenting the scene,” Barbera said. “We’re trying to determine what led up to the shooting.”

The store is in a shopping center called the Crossroads, off Okeechobee Boulevard and Royal Palm Beach Boulevard. The village of Royal Palm Beach is about 12 miles west of Palm Beach, Florida.

“Our thoughts are with those who are impacted by this tragedy,” Maria Brous, a spokesperson for Publix, said in a statement. “We are cooperating with the local law enforcement.”

Helicopter footage from local TV stations showed a heavy police presence outside the store, with about 15 police cars at the scene.

Juan Guardia, a Publix customer, told reporters at the scene that he was in the store’s deli area when he heard gunshots. A store employee yelled, “a shooter, a shooter!” he said.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.