Three killed, including gunman, in New Jersey supermarket shootout

Aug 31, 2012, 18:28 IST | Agencies

New Jersey supermarket shootout: Three people including the suspected shooter were killed in the fourth such incident in the US in over a month.

Three people, including the alleged gunman, were killed today in a shootout in a New Jersey supermarket, the fourth such incident in the US in over a month.

Authorities were called to the Pathmark gorcery store on Route 9 in Old Bridge, a suburb about 25 miles from New York, at about 4 am local time, NBC reported.

The gunman, who was apparently a disgruntled worker, entered the Pathmark grocery store around 4 am and shot two people and then himself, Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry was quoted as saying by The Star-Ledger.

"This is the worst phone call a Mayor can receive," Henry said of the information he received after the shooting. "You can prepare for these things but you can't prevent them," he was quoted as saying.  

A heavy police presence was visible outside the supermarket in New Jersey this morning. SWAT teams had set up a command post in the parking lot of a nearby restaurant.

New Jersery shooting
A TV grab of the location in New Jersey where police claim three people including the alleged shooter were killed.

The shooting happened inside the store, the official said. Police responded to shots fired inside Pathmark, where employees were stocking shelves just before 4 a.m. The store was scheduled to open at 6 a.m.

The scene is now under control and there are emergency responders in the plaza parking lot who have been standing in front of the store for the past hour.

The gunman, who was reportedly in body armour, was tentatively identified as a man in his 20s. He was either a current or former employee of the store.

Today's incident came just a week after the shooting at the Empire State Building when a "disgruntled" designer, who was sacked from an apparel company, gunned down a former co-worker and then randomly opened fire on the crowded sidewalks before he was shot dead by police. On August 5, a gunman named Michael Wade Page had fired indiscriminately in a gurudwara in Wisconsin killing six members of the Sikh community and seriously wounding three others.

The frequent shooting rampages across the country have opened a debate on the gun laws. After the gurudwara shooting, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had criticised President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney for avoiding the issue of gun laws, which he said were putting weapons in the hands of "dangerous people".

On July 20, a shooting massacre at a theatre in Aurora, Colorado -- where a gunman opened fire during a screening of the batman movie 'the Dark Knight Rises' -- left 12 people dead and over 50 injured.

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