Man, 26, and woman, 20, shot dead in murder-suicide at Georgia Walmart are identified as James Wyatt Nicholas Norton and Zoey Nicole Messenger – as terrified shoppers describe running for their lives
- The shooting broke out at a Walmart in Hiram, Georgia at 7:30pm on Wednesday
- A man and a woman both died in a ‘murder-suicide’ according to police
- The police chief confirmed Zoey Nicole Messenger, 20, and James Wyatt Nicholas Norton, 26, were killed
Two young people have died in what cops say was a murder-suicide shooting inside a Walmart in Georgia – as shoppers described running for their lives.
The police chief confirmed Zoey Nicole Messenger, 20, and James Wyatt Nicholas Norton, 26, were the two individuals that died in the murder-suicide. Norton worked for Walmart and Messenger also appeared to be an employee at the supercenter.
Norton and Messenger died inside the store in Hiram after the shooting at 7:30pm on Wednesday. Investigators said the man opened fire on the woman. The pair had previously dated but Messenger ended their relationship.
Norton went up to Messenger in one of store’s aisles after 7 pm and began to talk to her. Police said the conversation didn’t appear to be angry but Norton suddenly pulled out a handgun and shot Messenger and himself.
First responders rushed to the scene and discovered the pair who had suffered at least one gunshot wound each.
A shooting broke out at a Walmart in Georgia in what police have described as a ‘murder-suicide’. A man and a woman died – one of them was an employee at the store
Police haven’t released details about the victims but they were believed to have previously dated
They were rushed to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital but were pronounced dead on arrival.
Nobody else was hurt in the shooting but shoppers in the store at the time were left terrified.
Devani Lopez was shopping in the store when the shooting broke out.
He said: ‘As soon as I heard the second shot I rain straight for the exit,
‘I heard the gun shot come from my left side so I ran to to the right exit,
‘I ran straight for the car to see everyone running like for their lives – everyone was so panicked and scared.
‘I ran straight for my car I didn’t even drive off I just hid in the backseat and I just see everyone gathered around in the entrance.’
Hiram Police Chief Mike Turner said: ‘What it appears to be is a known-to-known shooting event where both parties knew each other. This was not an active shooter. This was one person knew another person, there was some kind of former relationship,’
Other shoppers heard the gunfire break out and described running for their lives to hide in cars after the terrifying incident
The Walmart is in Hiram, Georgia, which is a small town about 20 miles northwest of Atlanta
Turner said: ‘They were both younger people’.
The police chief added that the scene must have been terrifying for people who were shopping and picking up
He said: ‘Not only for the victim herself but for the other people in there – the fear that must have been instilled by the event.’
Walmart put out a statement: ‘We’re heartbroken by what happened at our Hiram store tonight. Our priority, right now, is the safety of our associates and customers. The store will remain closed while we work with law enforcement during their investigation.’