Old Bridge Supermarket Gunman Fired Shots At Six Employees [VIDEO]
Officials say the Old Bridge supermarket gunman fired at at least 6 employees, including one outside the store, before turning the gun on himself. The rampage left 3 dead including the shooter.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan says the shooter, identified as 23 year old ex-Marine rifleman Terence S. Tyler, opened fire on employees he saw when he walked in, killing 18 year old Cristina LoBrutto of Old Bridge and a 24 year old Bryan Brutto from Laurence Harbor
FULL COVERAGE: Old Bridge Supermarket Shooting
16 shots were fired and an AK-47, extra ammunition and a handgun were found at the scene. The motive is
Kaplan said 12-14 people were working in the store when the shooting occured at 4:00AM Friday morning and ran into the back when the gunfire began. The store was not open for customers.
John Niccollai, president of a foodworkers union that represents some store employees, credits an assistant manager for leading the employees out of harm's way and "would view as a hero."
Police did not fire their weapons according to Kaplan.
A vigil for Breen & LoBrutto at Old Bridge High School, where they both graduated from in 2006 and this past June, is planned for Friday night.
A cousin of the gunman in a New Jersey supermarket shooting spree says he has not been the same since his
mother died about five years ago.
Shanteya Dyson in New York City tells The Associated Press that 23-year-old Terence Tyler didn't speak much after his mother died. She says "he was just blank."
Dyson says Tyler was discharged from the Marines in 2010 after he became ill and was hospitalized. She said she did not know what his illness was.
The Star Ledger reports that according to Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry, the gunman was a "disgruntled employee" who had been working at the store for a short time.
nry says the gunman came into the store at 4:30AM, shot two people and then himself. He said the gunman entered the store wearing body armor.
Several hours earlier, Old Bridge Councilman Richard Greene, in a phone call to New Jersey 101.5's Eric Scott said he was told by Mayor Henry the shooter was an ex-Marine who entered the store, left and then returned a short time later, dressed in camouflage and armed with an AK-47 and an automatic pistol.
"AN UNEASY VIBE"
Tyler moved to an apartment near the Pathmark earlier this summer, neighbors said. Co-workers said he had been only working at the store for a few weeks.
Pathmark worker Miranda Miranda said she steered clear of Tyler. "The way he looked at me, he gave me an uneasy vibe," she said.
She had worked on the overnight shift Thursday night into Friday morning before switching a few weeks ago.
"Right now, all I know is what keeps coming into my mind," she said. "That could've been me."
Tyler spent the July 4 weekend drinking at Jersey shore bars with Manase Acheantong, who said Tyler was his friend's cousin.
"We went out. We had drinks. He was a normal kid. He didn't start no fights. He didn't seem crazy," said Acheantong, 25, of Old Bridge.
Police at the scene were keeping onlookers well away from the store. A number of vehicles were in the parking lot outside the supermarket, along with police vehicles.
HELP FOR EMPLOYEES
Pathmark Supermarkets in a statement on their Facebook page posted, "We are terribly saddened by the incident at our Old Bridge Pathmark store this morning. We express our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and our appreciation to local law enforcement. Our main concern is the safety of our associates and customers. We continue to work with local authorities during the investigation."
Management has been working since early this morning to arrange grief counseling and other services for our members effected by this crisis. A counselor has been dispatched to the site to assist those members who were present at the time of the shooting.
Additionally, Pathmark has established a hotline with their mental health provider Value Options that Pathmark members – even those who may not have health care coverage yet -- can access 24-hours a day including this weekend. The number is 800-843-5503.
Because of the situation, NJ Transit had closed the Park and Ride adjacent to Pathmark which had since been repopened.
David Matthau, Leanne Vuksanic, Josh Frishman, Dan Alexander & The Associated Press contributed to this story