COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — Collierville’s mayor was out of town when a gunman opened fire inside the Kroger on Byhalia Road Thursday.
Alderman and Vice Mayor Maureen Fraser jumped into action to help, but before she got to the scene, she learned a dear friend was among the casualties.
“The son told me she had been shot. When I got to the scene with the emergency vehicles and all that, they didn’t have her name or couldn’t tell me where she was,” said Fraser. “When the fire department said one of the victims had passed away on the way to the hospital, I had an anxiety attack. For some reason, I just knew it was Olivia.”
Fraser said she believed Olivia King had just entered the store when she was shot in the chest. She said a complete stranger grabbed King’s cell phone, called one of her sons and told him what had happened.
“He said he was with his mother. She had been shot at the Kroger, she was breathing, and they were transporting her to the MED,” said Fraser.
Fraser said King, a devout Catholic, had just been to church. She said King had been a widow for about 16 years and leaves behind three sons and five grandchildren.
“I know where she is. She’s with her husband,” said Fraser. “She missed Greg terribly.”
Fraser said King’s sons would like to find the good Samaritan who made that phone call and stayed by their mother’s side.
“The family would like to talk to that person to know what it was like. You know, her last moments,” said Fraser. “Did she see the shooter? What did she experience?”
Fraser said right now, she is running on adrenaline and has not been able to fully process her friend’s death.
“It was a short night,” Fraser said.
Friday, Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said a total of 15 people had been shot at the grocery store and identified Uk Thang, 29, as the gunman. So far, police have not released a motive for the shooting.
Fraser said she’s amazed by all of the support Collierville has received from first responders, area law enforcement agencies, and people in the community.
“This isn’t typical Collierville, and hopefully, it will never happen again anywhere,” Fraser said.