COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — A longtime Kroger employee says she thought someone was popping balloons in the floral section of the Collierville store Thursday afternoon but soon realized there was a gunman inside the business.
“I look up, and I see all the employees running. Well, customers also. This is upfront. They’re running from the front,” said Jean Kurzawski.
Kurzawski said she was at the back of the store at the salad wall when the shots rang out. She said employees and customers were running in her direction. She headed toward the nearest exit and said the gunfire continued.
“I could hear it shooting louder,” said Kurzawski. “We were out in the open, so we found a place in the back of those buildings in a little corner, and we just stayed in that corner.”
Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said there were 44 Kroger employees inside the Byhalia Road store at the time of the shooting. He could not say how many customers were there as well.
One person was killed, and 12 others were wounded in the shooting. Chief Lane said it appeared the shooter took his own life.
Lane said dispatch received a call about an active shooter at 1:30 p.m. He said there happened to be an officer nearby who was on the scene immediately.
Authorities are saying little about the shooter. Investigators were searching the shooter’s car and planned to search a residence.
Kurzawski said when she heard the gunfire and started running, she thought she might not make it out of the store alive.
“I just thinking oh, I’m’ gonna die, I’m gonna die,” said Kurzawski. “He’s gonna shoot me; he’s’ going to shoot me. It was the most horrifying experience I’ve’ ever, ever had.”