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A customer who argued about wearing a mask in a Georgia supermarket shot dead a cashier and injured a deputy sheriff who was out of business in business on Monday, law enforcement officials said.
The shooter was shot dead by the deputy, and both are expected to survive their injuries, according to law enforcement officials.
A suspect identified as Victor Lee Tucker Jr., 30, from Palmetto, Georgia, was arrested by DeKalb County Police Department officers “while trying to crawl out the front door of the supermarket,” a Georgia statement said Investigation Office.
The shooting occurred in a Big Bear supermarket in Decatur, about 10 miles east of downtown Atlanta, shortly after 1 p.m., officials said. At this point, Mr. Tucker checked out of the supermarket and got into an argument with a cashier about his mask, the office said in its statement. Mr. Tucker left the store without buying his items, but returned immediately.
“Tucker went straight back to the register, pulled out a pistol, and shot her,” the office said. Then he started shooting the deputy “who tried to intervene in the supermarket during his free time,” the office said.
The cashier, whose name was not disclosed, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and pronounced dead, officials said. Mr. Tucker was also taken there and was in stable condition.
The MP, whose name was not disclosed, was taken to the Atlanta Medical Center and listed in stable condition, officials said.
The MP wore a bulletproof vest and it most likely saved his life, DeKalb County’s Sheriff Melody M. Maddox said at a news conference.
According to the bureau, a second cashier was “hit by a bullet” and treated on site for her injury.
The shooting took place for more than a year in the coronavirus pandemic that killed nearly 600,000 people in the United States and resulted in health problems that paralyzed many companies. For some, public health regulations sparked clamor that personal freedoms were being violated.
Enforcing the wearing of masks in public places became dangerous at times.
An Iowa man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for attacking and spat on another man last year when he argued about wearing his mask. An 80-year-old man died after being knocked to the floor in a bar near Buffalo by a fellow client whom he asked to put on a mask.
And last June, Hugo’s Tacos in Los Angeles temporarily closed its two locations in the city because its employees were “exhausted from the constant conflicts over the refusal of guests to wear masks”.
Mask policy enforcement had become a new American pastime.
That began to change as more people were vaccinated and warmer weather made for safer outdoor gatherings where transmissions were less likely.
Soon the restrictions began to fade. In New York state, for example, officials have announced plans to lift restrictions and New York City will hold a parade for key workers.
But not every part of the country was successful against the virus at the same speed. Just last month, the city of Decatur extended its obligation to wear face covering when entering buildings in the city, except for religious establishments, until at least June 21, Decaturish.com reported.