While much of the nation has eased COVID-19 restrictions and mask guidelines, many states and counties within are still mandating the wearing of face coverings inside their establishment. A cashier lost her life after she asked a man to don a mask while inside a Dekalb County grocery store, who left and then returned to gun the woman down.
As detailed in a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Victor Lee Tucker Jr., a 30-year-old resident of Palmetto, Ga. in Fulton County, entered the Big Bear Supermarket this past Monday when he was met with a warning to wear a face mask by the cashier. Tucker left the establishment and opened fire, striking the cashier and an off-duty sheriff’s deputy working as security as well.
The woman was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital suffering from gunshot wounds where she later died. Tucker and the deputy were also treated with non-life-threatening injuries at differing hospitals according to the report.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has launched a lengthy investigation into the matter and a press conference helmed by Dekalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox confirmed that the unnamed deputy, a retired Dekalb County police officer from its reserve unit, was wearing a bulletproof vest when the gunman struck him twice.
Sheriff Maddox also added that the argument between Tucker and the cashier was related to the gunman refusing to wear a mask. The GBI stated that Tucker never made a purchase inside the store but instead left and returned with his firearm.
“Tucker walked directly back to the cashier, pulled out a handgun and shot her,” GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles offered in a news release. “Tucker then began shooting at a (DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office) deputy who was attempting to intervene while working off-duty at the supermarket. The deputy and Tucker exchanged gunfire, and both were wounded during the shootout.”
The deputy managed to shoot Tucker several times, according to Maddox’s account.
A Fox 5 report shared the name of the slain cashier, 41-year-old Laquitta Willis.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Willis family, the injured sheriff’s deputy and everyone impacted by yesterday’s senseless incident,” read a statement from a DeKalb County Police Department spokesperson.
Photo: Dekalb County Sheriff’s Department/Fox 5 Atlanta