Publix Shopper Shot Dead After Checkout Line Dispute Escalates: Police

An argument at a Florida Publix grocery store turned violent when a man opened fire, killing another customer Saturday night.

The two men were in the checkout lane of the Coral Gables grocery store, waiting to pay for their items, when they began arguing at around 7 p.m., police told The Miami Herald.

The situation soon escalated when one of the men pulled out a gun and shot the other. Other shoppers were in the store at the time, but no one else suffered any injuries.

Authorities pronounced the victim dead inside the store. Meanwhile, police arrested the suspected shooter, but have not given any details on how the arrest went down. Neither men have been identified yet, and police have not said what the argument was about. The investigation is being handled by the Miami-Dade Police Department’s homicide unit.

By Sunday morning, the store resumed normal operations, according to the Herald.

In a statement, Publix wrote: “We can confirm that there was an incident at our Publix store located at 106 Ponce de Leon last night. Our thoughts are with those who are impacted by this tragedy. We are cooperating with the local law enforcement. Since this is an active police investigation, we cannot confirm any additional details. All additional questions should be directed to the Miami-Dade Police Department.”

Video posted to social media showed police cars outside of the building Saturday night.

Coral Gables is a city of nearly 50,000 people, located just outside of Miami.

In the past year, several other people have been gunned down inside grocery stores across the U.S.

Last November, a man faced accusations of fatally shooting a shopper at a Safeway grocery store in Alaska. The alleged shooter, Joshua Eric Butcher, was charged with first-degree murder. He allegedly fired several shots outside the store before entering it, continuing to shoot, prosecutors alleged.

Man fatally shot in Publix
An argument at a Publix grocery store turned violent when a man opened fire, killing another customer Saturday night. Above, a Publix is seen in Miramar, Florida in July 2020.
Johnny Louis/Getty Images

In September, Olivia King, a widowed mother of three, was fatally shot in the chest at a Kroger in Collierville, Tennessee. She was one of 13 people shot in the store. Her son, Wes King, wrote on Facebook: “They tried to save her at the hospital to no avail. I apologize for the graphic details, but this type of crime needs to stop being glossed over and sanitized. No one deserves this.”

Newsweek reached out to the Miami-Dade Police Department and a spokesperson for Publix Sunday morning, but did not hear back by publication. This story will be updated with any response.

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