Fordyce shooting: Panicked Arkansas grocery shoppers hid in a freezer and ran for cover amid a shooting that killed 3 people and injured 10.


Families were shopping at a local grocery store in a small Arkansas town on Friday when the sound of gunshots echoed through the store, sending them running for cover or huddling in a freezer.

Katrina Doherty – who was shopping for dinner with her 18-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son – said she first thought she heard the sound of something falling, but then saw glass break and someone fall to the ground. That’s when she knew shots were being fired.

Outside, David Rodriguez was parking at a gas station when he heard “pops” that he initially thought were fireworks. He then noticed the windows of the grocery store were broken — as if they had been “opened” by gunfire, Rodriguez said.

Panicked shoppers then began running away as gunshots quickly rang out, Rodriguez said.

A man opened fire on the Mad Butcher in Fordyce, killing three people and injuring 10 others. Law enforcement responded around 11:30 a.m. and exchanged gunfire with the “lone suspect,” according to Arkansas State Police.

Cellphone video captured a man in the parking lot aiming a long gun and firing in multiple directions.

Colin Murphey/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/AP

A law enforcement officer works at the scene of a grocery store shooting Friday.

Unable to find an escape route, Doherty and others in the store hurriedly hid in a freezer. Doherty’s daughter and son, who were in a different aisle, found their mother in the back of the store and followed two store employees into the freezer. The 39-year-old mother said she heard nine or 10 gunshots before entering the freezing shelter.

“We ran there very quickly. We could still hear gunshots,” Doherty said. “It was like in slow motion. My daughter said to me, “Mom, pinch me, this can’t be real.” And I was like, ‘Baby, this is real.’

From outside, Rodriguez heard sirens and watched as ambulances and police arrived on the scene.

Doherty couldn’t hear what was happening outside and when they tried to call 9-1-1, there was no service. The group stayed inside, enduring the freezing cold in “panic mode,” some praying and others crying, she recalled.

Her son started crying, “but we eventually calmed him down because I didn’t want the shooter to hear.”

“We were just sitting there and praying. I was in panic mode. My son almost froze to death. We tried to silence him, but he said he wanted his daddy. “It felt like we were there forever,” Doherty said. “We were there for maybe 15 minutes. I asked the Lord to protect everyone. I was just praying. The other lady was praying. She cried.”

At one point, one of the workers opened the freezer door and saw someone dead just outside, Doherty said. The door remained closed until one of the store employees heard police outside, then they were escorted out of the store, Doherty said.

Once outside the store, Doherty found her 15-year-old twin daughters waiting outside in the car during the shooting and ducking down when they heard the gunshots.

The country has seen a wave of shootings in recent weeks, with 21 mass shootings recorded by the Gun Violence Archive since last Friday. The shootings permeated a Michigan splash pad, a Texas Juneteenth celebration and a car meet in Massachusetts, among other locations.

They are among at least 234 mass shootings to take place in the United States in 2024, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, which, like CNN, defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are shot, excluding the shooter. .

Colin Murphey/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/AP

Damage can be seen on a front window as a law enforcement officer investigates Friday.

Matthew Gill, the Mad Butcher’s meat manager, told CNN that a man entered the store with a shotgun and got into a shootout with police.

Two police officers were shot and injured. The suspected shooter, identified by authorities as Travis Eugene Posey, 44, was also injured and taken into custody.

Posey, a New Edinburg resident, is expected to be charged with three counts of capital murder, with additional charges pending, according to an Arkansas State Police news release.

The injuries to the officers and the suspect are not life-threatening, according to Hagar. He noted that “the situation is secure…contained.” There is no active threat to the community.

“The remaining civilian injuries range from those that are not life-threatening to those that are extremely serious,” he said.

Posey was “treated for non-life-threatening injuries after exchanging gunfire with law enforcement, returned to ASP custody and transported to the Ouachita County Detention Center », indicated the ASP in the press release. It is clear whether Posey has retained legal counsel at this point.

The governor of Arkansas. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in a statement on X, said she had been informed of the “tragic shooting” in Fordyce and was in “constant contact” with state police at the scene. Fordyce, a small town in southeastern Dallas County, had just 3,396 residents in 2020.

Fordyce City Council member Roderick Rogers told CNN affiliate KATV that he was on the phone with someone in the store when the shooting occurred. “Man, that was bad,” Rogers said.

The council member said he has spoken with survivors of the shooting who “are traumatized.”

“We are trying to get advice and everything is set up at the moment,” he added.

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