Florida deputies stop active shooter inside grocery store

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UPDATE (11:54 a.m.) 8/16/2019 — ECSO has identified the suspect as 29-year-old Reginald Booker.

Booker is still hospitalized from the shooting.

Reginald Booker, jail photo from 2018

ORIGINAL STORY:

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Deputies say a man opened fire inside a grocery store in the Warrington community Thursday afternoon. Deputies confronted the active shooter and shot him.

The situation unfolded at Grocery Advantage on Lillian Highway. Deputies responded around 2:42 p.m. to a report of a man acting erratically and firing shots inside the store.

News 5 interviewed Sheriff David Morgan shortly after the shooting. He said deputies arrived at the store within four to six minutes of the initial call.

The sheriff said the suspect had retreated to a warehouse/loading area at the back of the store. The sheriff said the suspect had barricaded himself and was preparing to ambush the responding deputies.

The suspect was struck at least twice, the sheriff said. No deputies or civilians were injured.

The suspect was taken to a hospital to be treated for his wounds.

“Sheer terror, they were really upset,” Lee Gainey said, as he recalled the chaos as people inside the grocery store ran to Vannoy’s Tires across the street where he works.

“Brings it home to where you just don’t know,” Gainey said. “Anywhere you could be, it could happen. But the main thing, nobody got hurt.”


Officers recovered a small-caliber handgun from the scene, according to Sheriff Morgan. The sheriff would not comment on a possible motive as to why the suspect fired shots inside the store.

Sheriff Morgan released the following statement on Facebook:

“As the Sheriff, I know I speak not only for the Sheriff’s Office but all citizens of Escambia County, in thanking the fine men and women of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office for their professionalism and courage which is displayed every day but especially today in stopping this suspect.”

Sheriff David Morgan

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will lead the investigation into the shooting.

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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.